Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Megan Thee Stallion reminds us all exactly who she is.
“I don’t care if these bitches don’t like me, ‘cause, like, I’m pretty as fuck,” Megan Thee Stallion asserts in the opening lines to “Her,” with all the casual matter-of-factness of a happy hour gossip session. But, jokes aside, how could she even have the energy to care? Though her consistent string of feel-good, booty-shaking anthems — and her astonishing ascent to hip-hop royalty — would have you convinced otherwise, the H-Town Hottie’s personal life has dragged her through hell and back. It’s impressive enough that she can still stand up straight.
About a year before “Savage” launched her to superstardom, Megan lost her mother and grandmother within the same month. But becoming a household name certainly didn’t make things much easier: In 2020, Tory Lanez allegedly shot Megan in the foot, a story she, understandably, can hardly recount publicly without crying. She referenced the encounter on that year’s Good News, but with an overall air of nonchalance — shit happens, she seemed to say, letting her success speak for itself.
But bullet wounds leave gnarly scars, and on her new album Traumazine, Megan makes it clear how much she’s been hurt. “Her” is upbeat, but where Good News felt like she was brushing off the pain, the new song sounds like she’s finding the light at the end of the tunnel after she’s finally processed it all. “I’m her, her, her, her, her, her, her, her,” she chants in the chorus over one of the most house-influenced beats Meg’s ever used — it almost feels tailor-made for drag shows or vogueing, some of the most unfettered declarations of pride.
“Her” overflows with boastfulness, but it’s virtually impossible not to be on Megan’s side: “The hate campaign ain’t workin’ at all/ I ain’t Jack or Jill, bitch, I ain’t gon’ fall,” she spits. Let’s hope that’s true — but, God forbid she does fall, we know she’ll be able to pick herself back up again.
— Abby Jones
Miloe – “gaps”
Democratic Republic of Congo-born and Minneapolis-raised artist Miloe has shared “gaps,” the title track for his upcoming EP, out September 16th. “gaps” is an ode to the singer-songwriter’s ever-changing relationship with music. Even in his anxiety and self-doubt, he conveys how constant his craft is, showing how songwriting is the only way he can accurately express his emotions. Along with being a poetic stream of consciousness, “gaps” is sonically effervescent. The single delivers everything that a summer track demands, acting like the sparkling bubbles of the most decadent champagne. — Kelly Park
Maggie Lindemann – “self sabotage”
With “self sabotage,” Maggie Lindemann zeroes in on the all-too-common feeling of blocking ourselves from the love we deserve. It’s on brand in the best way for Lindemann, who has a knack for highlighting the experiences of young people — particularly young women — who are finding and using their own voices. The track has a gritty edge to it, a defiance from Maggie that wakes us up and makes us want to demand better of ourselves, too. — Mary Siroky
altopalo, Bartees Strange – “love that 4 u”
altopalo have teamed up with Bartees Strange for a new single from their forthcoming LP, frenemy (out Sept 23rd). The band describes the dazzling “love that 4 u” as “a diss track to themselves,” with vocalist Rahm Silverglade slyly pointing out, “You never had to work a day in your life/ You still live like trash and I love that for you.”
The band does a terrific job of making the song laid back and hazy, but there’s still a trace of discord in the song’s psychedelic palate. The wash of synths and booming bass create a perfect vacuum of space for Bartees Strange to vent about his frustrations, and the song’s eerie-but-jazzy climax is the equivalent of a stoned, sad epiphany. altopalo are deservedly on the rise. — Paolo Ragusa
MØ – “Spaceman”
With the release of her new album Dødsdrom, Danish artist MØ has shared “Spaceman,” a sparkling journey to the stars. An interpolation of the 1996 Babylon Zoo hit of the same name, “Spaceman” pulls the throwback vibes into the present with playful urgency. MØ describes the vibe of the track as a “Gotham rave party,” and it’s one we would all love to be invited to, which is usually the case with the energetic MØ — you can’t help but be pulled into her orbit. — M. Siroky
Kate Nash – “Wasteman”
Kate Nash has returned with “Wasteman,” the ultimate “dump him” anthem to end all dump him anthems. “You don’t want to talk, you just want to hit that blunt,” she drones dryly in the first verse, a giant eye-roll in mp3 form as she contemplates a breakup. It’s hard not to think of it as “Foundations” companion song, full of snarky witticisms aimed at the loser thumb you are much too good for. But it’s all trademark Nash, from the bubbly pianos to the catchy chorus and the uplifting lyrics. “You’re just a wasteman,” Nash croons over a dance-y beat. Yeah, you are. — Cady Siregar
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