Megan Thee Stallion Is Venomously Vulnerable On ‘Cobra’

megan thee stallion sheds snake skin and starts anew in cobra

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Megan Thee Stallion’s new single ‘Cobra’ is a raw and vulnerable ode to her struggle with depression and that’s why it’s radical.

Megan Pete, aka Megan Thee Stallion’s dazzling rise to stardom has included Grammys and MCU cameos. However, the “hot girl summer” originator’s stardom has been unfortunately overshadowed by the death of her mum and an assault committed by rapper Tory Lanez. Between Megan alleging the crime in 2020 and Lanez’ conviction in 2023, many speculated that Meg was lying about Lanez shooting her in the foot. Drake even wrote a whole song about it.

Since the trial, both in the public eye and in the courts, darker and rawer themes have made their way into Meg Thee Stallion’s discography. The ‘WAP’ singer’s 2020 debut album Good News featured the track ‘Shots Fired’, in which she responded to public suggestions she had lied about the shooting. Her acclaimed follow-up album, literally titled Traumazine, featured ‘Anxiety’, a track where Megan lays out how anxiety over the traumas she’s suffered affected her every day.

Megan’s singles have almost exclusively been made up of her confidence-boosting bangers – from ‘Savage’ to ‘Thot Shit’. Meanwhile, her more personal, and often darker tracks are released along with the albums for fans to find. The duality created by this release pattern is almost a reflection of Megan herself, fronting a confident face to the world as her struggles eat her up inside.

But ‘Cobra’ sees a drastic shift from that paradigm. The 2023 single is a scornful excavation of Megan’s past three years of pain – from being cheated on, to being shot, then accused of lying as she tried to seek justice. With a truly venomous guitar solo to back her up, Megan lays out how it felt to see so many people turn away from her in her time of need.

The opening lines, “Breakin’ down and I had the whole world watchin’/But the worst part is really who watched me,” are suitably scathing, a callout to those who were so quick to abandon her. As the song continues, Megan also delves into the suicidal ideation she experienced — “How can somebody so blessed wanna slit they wrist?” — and how incongruous her depression felt with her success and fame.

Black women are often stereotyped as either inhumanely strong, or angry. They are stereotypes that leave little space to share the vulnerability or pain. Add to that the general stigma surrounding mental health that is increased for Black women, and ‘Cobra’ is easily a radical track.

As Megan says in the music video, “just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past, over and over again”. Megan Thee Stallion is over burying her struggles and fronting for a frivolous fanbase. She’s shedding her past persona and starting anew. And to me, that’s hot girl shit.

Merryana Salem (they/them) is a proud Wonnarua and Lebanese–Australian writer, critic, teacher and podcaster on most social media as @akajustmerry. If you want, check out their podcast, GayV Club where they yarn about LGBTIQ media. Either way, they hope you ate something nice today.