Disclaimer: This article contains lyrics with explicit language.
A lot of my favorite songs took me a couple listens to fully love, and that is definitely the case with Megan Thee Stallion’s latest single “Cobra.” Like her other song “Anxiety,” her lyrics talk exclusively of her mental health struggles over the years. I had a hard time getting into the lyrics on first listen, but after a couple plays, I think their meaning is beyond the surface level.
Before Megan released the song, all the advertisements I saw convinced me this single was going to be more similar to her songs featuring Cardi B that flaunt female sexual identity. All of the inspiration photos had Megan dressed scantily and with snakes, so you can imagine how shocked I was when the first line was “Breakin’ down and I had the whole world watching.”
My jaw hit the floor over the refrain “This pussy depressed / I’m about to stress him.”
I know that Megan gets a lot of backlash for her songs like “Sweetest Pie” for how much she raps about sex, so I actually view this new song as a dig at that stereotype. People expect her to keep up with that energy, as arguably her biggest hit was “W.A.P.” which is an acronym for “wet ass pussy.”
In my opinion, Megan used “Cobra” as not just an outlet to talk about her trauma, which she has a lot to say on, but also to combat the stereotypes surrounding her. When I looked at the lyrics on Genius, they attributed the lines in her first verse “How can somebody so blessed wanna slit they wrist? /Shit, I'd probably bleed out some Pinot / When they find me, I'm in Valentino, ayy” to be talking about a suicide attempt.
Pinot Noir is a deep red wine, and Valentino’s classic color is red, so I can see the connection. However, I would take this one step further, as both these references are luxury items and flexing wealth is another common theme in rap music. Megan is expressing how people would notice her money before they noticed her bleeding out.
In her second verse, Megan goes deeper into her trauma, talking about the how she misses her parents. Her father died when she was a freshman in high school, and her mother passed in 2019. This is not Megan’s first reference to her parents death in her work, as her song “Anxiety” talks expressly about missing her mother, but it seems fair to say that Megan does not have a lot of outlets to talk about her real life in her work.
The same idea applies to Megan’s lines about getting cheated on: “Pulled up, caught him cheatin' / gettin' his dick sucked in the same spot I'm sleepin' / Lord, give me a break / I don't know how much more of this shit I can take.”
These lines are nothing like her other songs. Megan’s reputation is about being a hot girl, and the air of being nonchalant that comes with that. Hearing her talk about her struggles so plainly was jarring.
The bar that hit the hardest for me was “I’m killin’ myself when bitches would die to be me.” Megan is idolized and also surrounded by a lot of people, good and bad, as seen in the Tory Lanez shooting in 2020. How could a supposed friend shoot you in the foot?
A lot of her other lyrics in “Cobra” go further into her issues with people going behind her back: “Long as everybody getting’ paid, right? / Everything’ll be okay, right? / I'm winnin', so nobody trippin’ / Bet if I ever fall off, everybody go missin’”
Even after my deeper analysis of the song, I would[MD1] hesitate to say this is one of Megan’s best songs. I liked the song a lot more with ever listen, but it still does not compete with the resr of her discography. Still, assuming she put as much meaning into it as I got out of it, “Cobra” is a mark of creative shift for Megan, and I am hoping she will produce similar songs in the future.