Megan Thee Stallion’s Traumazine Album Review: This Piece Of Art Proves “Healing Isn’t Linear”

Megan Thee Stallion’s ascent to cultural domination has been overshadowed by loss, betrayal, media attention, and internet hostility ever since the first Hot Girl Summer in 2019.
Tina Snow, Suga, and Hot Girl Meg are just a few of the alter personas she has created in response, each one fiercer, flirtier, and funnier than the last. Meg plays herself, the most difficult part she has ever had to play, on her second album, the unexpected release Traumazine.

While recent additions to the therapy-rap canon include JAY-Z’s 4:44 and Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, Megan takes on the challenging task of creating a palatable and complex album about her trauma in a culture and musical genre that are notorious for demonizing Black women and minimizing their suffering—all while allegedly being sabotaged by her team.

In the end, her desire to project an unconcerned persona comes before genuine reflection and evolutionary risk-taking, an obvious oversight on an album that was promoted as being her most vulnerable to date.

Traumazine occasionally adopts the candid format of a diary entry. On “Anxiety,” she discusses her issues with mental health and recalls the legacies of well-known women whose struggles were similarly demonized by the media, including Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, and Marilyn Monroe.

However, the production’s tone does not correspond to the seriousness of her words, even when she expresses emotionally raw views. The yodeling instrumental and cheery piano overpower Meg’s sad reflections on the regrets she will never be able to express to her late mother. Megan sticks to the toughness and a little amount of fun that have helped her survive in the business and in life on “Flip Flop,” a song with a better tonal fit.

Traumazine marks the first time that Meg has fully infused socio-political commentary into her music, save for the brief “Justice for Breonna Taylor” mention in “Shots Fired.” On “Not Nice” she raps, “My skin not light enough/My dialect not white enough/Or maybe I’m just not shaped the way that makes these niggas give a fuck,” shining a light on the rampant misogynoir she endured these past couple of years.

Meg is known for her body-positive imagery and lyrics, but in this situation, it becomes a rebuke to those who enjoy her sexualized image while ignoring her humanity. She keeps up this theme by often expressing her love for her natural hair and Blackness, saying, “I’m Black, Biggie-Biggie Black… my Afro my Powerpuff.” She ends “Gift & a Curse” with the phrase, “My motherfucking body/My choice,” reclaiming her body from everyone who has picked her apart, from the sassiest social media commenter to the United States Supreme Court.

The included musicians are a diverse group. On “Budget,” Megan and Latto work well together as two Southern women whose haughty attitudes complement one another and give the impression that they’re spitting on their detractors. Other times, it could seem as though Meg simply leapt onto the tune of her collaborator.

She matches the pop energy of “Sweetest Pie,” a collaboration with Dua Lipa that follows a formulaic Future Nostalgia template. Lucky Daye shines on “Star,” a breezy Zara dressing room soundtrack where Megan sings in a style similar to her Instagram live karaoke videos.

She possesses the incisive diss tracks, seductive personality, and versatility to switch between genres like generations before her. Most significantly, she is serious as she advances a cultural analysis of how Black women in rap are mistreated. Traumazine performs unevenly as a concept album. However, its value as a concrete example of the adage “healing isn’t linear” is abundantly obvious.

Listen to the album below:

We rate Megan Thee Stallion’s Traumazine Album a 7/10
On a scale of 1 to 10, Rate Megan Thee Stallion’s Traumazine Album – Let’s Talk
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