“Bad bitches have bad days too.” When I heard thee Hot Girl Coach Megan Thee Stallion spit this indisputable fact on “Anxiety,” the eleventh track of her new album Traumazine, I had to pause for a moment.
My initial shock came from hearing Meg’s willingness to be so vulnerable about her mental health, especially while continuing to deal with a world that only wants stoicism from Black women in the face of unrelenting abuse.
With her sophomore follow-up to her 2020 debut Good News, the Grammy-winning rapper has returned barred up with her signature braggadocious punchlines and her IG caption-ready lyrics that could also double as manifestation spells.
But her meteoric rise to stardom has been punctuated with as much trauma as it has success. From being shot in her feet in 2020 allegedly by R&B singer Tory Lanez and her ongoing legal battle against him to hitting #1 on the charts with Beyoncé for the remix of “Savage” which garnered the Houstonians a Grammy win to the contractual dispute she’s had with her old record label (that with the release of this project has finally freed her from her commitment to the company), to her first #1 album on iTunes with Traumazine — the highest of highs has been met with the lowest of lows.
She lets out all her frustrations on Traumazine and particularly on “Anxiety” – the album’s most revealing and unguarded track.
“People call me rude 'cause I ain't lettin' 'em try me,” she raps, echoing a sentiment that many Black women feel when trying to enforce our boundaries or trying to stand up for ourselves. She expresses a similar feeling in the track “Not Nice” when she says “I guess my skin not light enough, my dialect not white enough/Or maybe I'm just not shaped the way that make these niggas givе a fuck.” It’s her Rolling Stone interview come to life.
Another revealing moment in “Anxiety” is when she says “They keep sayin' speak your truth/And at the same time say they don't believe, man” – a line that’s seemingly pointed toward people who have tried to discredit that she was even shot when her publicly available medical records prove that bullet fragments were removed from both of her feet.
It’s not the first time since the incident that the rapper has had to combat people who have attempted to undermine what happened to her. She talks about it extensively in her recent interview with Gayle King, telling the veteran journalist about the details of the night in question. “I’m a victim,” she told King. "I am the victim. I’m not defending myself against anything. Something happened to me!”
Over half way through “Anxiety,” she shouts out three iconic women. “Marilyn Monroe, my favorite ho/My favorite bad bitch, I think she the GOAT/Jammin' to Britney, singin' to Whitney/I just wan' talk to somebody that get me, yeah.” Along with being three of the most famous women in history, these women also have had publicly documented downfalls stemming from many things including being over-scrutinized by the media and the world writ large – something that Megan can definitely relate to.
In the most gut-wrenching part of the song, the rapper speaks about her mom, Holly Thomas, who passed away in March of 2019 just as Megan was beginning to gain significant momentum in her career.
If I could write a letter to Heaven/
I would tell my mama that I shoulda been listenin'/
And I would tell her sorry that I really been wildin'/
And ask her to forgive me, 'cause I really been tryin'/
And I would ask please, show me who been real/
And get 'em from around me if they all been fake/
It's crazy how I say the same prayers to the Lord/
And always get surprised about who he take, man/
After a public falling out with her best friend in the aftermath of the shooting and the loss of so many of her loved ones, on top of the trauma of being shot and the unwarranted backlash she’s received as a victim coming forward, it’s clear that Meg is struggling.
With “Anxiety,” thee head hot girl has made space for Black women to know that bad days do not diminish our abilities to still be bad bitches too.
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Feature image: Noam Galai/Getty Images for ABA