Houston native Megan Thee Stallion has been shaking things up in the music world for years.
Her new single “Hiss” is her first solo venture to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track is garnering much praise by fans and music critics alike.
Many are calling the song a “diss” track, pointing to lines which allegedly reference artists like Drake and Nicki Minaj, though no one is directly named in the song.
Others are pointing out how “Hiss” is calling out misogynoir behavior sent her way after she was a very public victim of assault.
Taylor Crumpton, a Dallas-raised, music and pop culture journalist, spoke with the Standard on how “Hiss” and Megan Thee Stallions’ earlier release “Cobra” are ways for her to put an end to this chapter of her life. Listen to the interview above or read the transcript below.
This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity:
Texas Standard: For folks who don’t know, could you briefly break down what happened with her and her colleague Tory Lanez? What some people in the music industry were talking about here in relation to this track?
Taylor Crumpton: Yes. Over the course of the past year, we have seen that this case play out not only in the court of public opinion, but in the legal court, the state of California, in which Tori Lanez was charged for assaulting Megan Thee Stallion with a firearm. And this case kind of brought to light the ways in which misogynoir, which is the anti-Black sexism that Black women experience, is seen in popular culture.
You know, for people of an older generation, a comparison was made to Tina Turner and how jokes about her assault at the hands of Ike Turner became fodder in the cultural zeitgeist and at the watercooler. So decades later, when Megan Thee Stallion was assaulted by Tori Lanez in the years leading up to the case in which he was charged, there were so many jokes made not only on social media, but in music, in news, in politics.
It was an overarching assault and something that she had to personally experience that resulted in a lot of music that is coming out of her as of late that speaks to the experience – the loneliness, the isolation, the depression, the anxiety, and the general belief that her as a Black woman was not believed.
So when we’re looking at her recent release, “Hiss” and “Cobra” – and I would even argue “Anxiety,” which was on “Traumazine” – we’re seeing her heal and work through these challenges in real time, which is so inspiring to women of her generation and also to other survivors who have felt isolated in their healing process.