Be your own “Plan B”

Megan Thee Stallion’s new single on female independence

Kelly Chuang

One of many big names at Coachella 2022, Megan Thee Stallion’s set featured a snippet of “Plan B” blasting through the speakers. (Photo courtesy of Coachella.)

In a surprise addition to her Coachella performance on April 17, Megan Thee Stallion previewed her new single, “Plan B.” The stage flooded with blue light as the track poured out of nearby thumping speakers. Backup dancers scurried off the stage, letting Megan perform solo to rap over her studio voice. High demand for the song followed on social media, with concert clips standing at 1.6 million Instagram likes before being archived by Megan. Following a few more teasers, the track was officially released on April 21, currently amassing approximately eight million Spotify streams.

Immediately, the most noticeable feature of the track is its opening. Fashioned to sound like a voicemail or phone call, Megan opens the track with, “Who the f**k you think you talking to *****? F**k me? Nah, *****, f**k you, *****.” Four descending guitar strums play as Megan ends the intro and moves into her verses, bringing the song into full swing. Although the opening may seem abrasive (and the opening does immediately grab one’s attention), the steady beat — sampled from Jodeci and Wu-Tang’s 1996 remix of “Freek’n You” — maintains a collected, confident and secure tone. The old-school R&B production also provides a unique element to Megan’s discography, a sobering break from the pounding bass and sharp kicks of previous projects like “Good News.”

Without flashy production to distract from the track itself, Megan’s bars, and therefore her overarching message, dominate the song. Superficially, “Plan B” is about Megan reflecting on past experiences and reaffirming her self-worth in the process. Lines like, “Making so much money, this ***** dumb if he’s cheatin’,” and, “I never put my faith in a *****, b***ch, I’ma die independent,” reassert the self-empowerment Megan has immortalized into her discography. But a few listens later, the song can be interpreted in a larger context. Female liberation, particularly that derived from financial and sexual freedom, is central to Megan’s brand. Rocketing to the forefront of the rap industry with 2020’s “Savage” and its accompanying remix, Megan has built a career off of empowering her listeners. The lyrics of past works like “Realer” and “Freakend” exemplify this theme alongside a thumping bass; 2018’s extended play, “Tina Snow,” is even built around Megan’s alter persona of a female pimp — a fitting convergence of economic and sexual liberty.

Posing for the cover of “Plan B,” Megan Thee Stallion’s new single continues her reputation as a frontline figure in rap. (Image courtesy of Stereogum.)

And thus comes the meaning of the track’s title. Plan B is one of many providers of levonorgestrel, an oral medicine that can be taken after sex to prevent pregnancy. Megan makes a nod to both the title and medication in the line, “Poppin’ Plan Bs ‘cause I ain’t planned to be stuck with ya.” Given the contraceptive’s wide availability, Megan and listeners can move freely throughout society without fear of being tied down to a partner through an unwanted pregnancy (however, most pricings of Plan B stand around $50, which nonetheless remains a financial barrier). Interweaving the title with the message and analyzing this individual song reveals Megan can procure and take Plan B when she wants; she is sexually and financially liberated. But when taking into account her discography, the addition of “Plan B” becomes a new way to restate her independence. Other songs like “Cocky AF” and “Girls in the Hood” center around her solo decisions and the ultimate, consistent and individual path she carves through life. Now, by choosing to take Plan B, Megan chooses herself; she is her own plan B.

The subject matter of female freedom via financial and sexual freedom has become a consistent trend amongst contemporary female rappers at large. Tracks like City Girls’ “Rodeo,” Cardi B’s “Money” and Rico Nasty’s collaboration with Flo Milli on a track of the same name have all contributed to the growing popularity of this version of female liberation, proudly rapping that listeners are more than capable of taking on the world by themselves, free from the constraints of social constructs. And with the recent leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion on overturning Roe v. Wade, the double meaning of “Plan B” is more apparent and necessary than ever before. So on the way to school or about to head into a meeting, blast some Megan Thee Stallion — and tunes inspired by her latest single with the provided Bark playlist — and remember to always be your own “Plan B.”