Megan Thee Stallion’s “Big Ole Freak” is an essential piece of sex positive lyricism paired with theatrical production that is thoughtful, unpredictable and modern.
The song starts with what feels like a daydream set in the 90’s. Minimized bass and reduced volume on Innocent’s 1992 “Is It Love This Time?” adds a degree of nostalgia and provides the legs for a 90’s-esque synth melody that appears later in the song.
But “Big Ole Freak” is not a throwback hit- it starts as a time machine gearing up to send us to 2019. About ten seconds in, a wave of hi-hats warps and twists and we’re fired into Tina Snow’s dimension- a different, sexier time and place. Not many songs manage this transition so well. The only one that comes to mind is 90’s German dance group Culture Beat’s “In the Mood” which starts as a typical Hi-NRG hoot and holler until suddenly exiting the local atmosphere and placing the listener somewhere far away, some sort of dance-floor heaven.
Back to “Big Ole Freak”, a billowy pad and the sounds of reverb-heavy wooshes offer a cosmic energy. Then there’s that synth- a sinuous whine that runs around Tina Snow’s lyrics like a hospital heart monitor gone haywire.
Megan Thee Stallion’s “Big Ole Freak” is rooted in assquake trap, but it does strike a production value that is fizzling with confident, sexy energy. Its beat is effervescent, accessible, and cross-generational.
The lyrics are of a woman in control, but just as interesting is the hype woman (Megan herself) in the background remarking “of course!” and “hell no!” or the odd moan, with concerted focus and sweaty lavishness. It’s an enthusiastic presence, reinforcing Megan Thee Stallion’s sexual style. Everything she says is dripped in sweaty, heavy breaths but with a delivery that is matter-of-fact. The vocals, hi-hats and cymbals splash and mix in a pool of sound that occasionally sounds muddled but lush. Thee Stallion sometimes caps a bar with a simple, pant-infused “Ahh”, manifesting almost as a schoolyard taunt, like, “yeah, I said it”.
Lyrically, some of the most emotional moments are when Tina Snow is rolling through some bedroom business, pumping up her dominate personality while simultaneously addressing her interest in the excitement and pleasure of control. She doesn’t regard her sexual partner as so below her as to be undeserving of respect, he’s her “lieutenant”. It’s about respect, strategy, and trust.
This part of the song isn’t even expressly sexual- Megan Thee Stallion details (in her own way) her genuine pleasure in exploring the dynamics of a dominate/subordinate relationship on an altruistic, psychological level. She explores ideas of denial: “I’m make him wait for the pussy”, reward, incentive, and punishment: “Come in the room when I’m giving commands”, “I’ll fuck him up in the head/ Suck it then look in his eyes.” With lines like ““I like to look at your face,” Megan Thee Stallion makes multiple appeals to the need for emotional connection, even in sex for sex’s sake, even if it’s to reinforce her own position.
Through the song, Megan Thee Stallion accents the satisfaction of denial, the need for praise, and how much men like to be subordinated, validated with lines like “You must be a pussy boy/ if you get offended” paired with “My body addictive/ it’s driving him crazy”. This power play is dramatic and authentic.
At one point, Tina Snow is describing a bedroom experience at rapid fire sequence. It’s excessively theatrical- it’s a montage- she gives us select glimpses at an experience, climaxing with an expressive, “Tell him ‘Shut up!’, make that motherfucker listen”, followed immediately with “I bet he gone like it”. The expression and force that comes with that “shut up!” is so clear and accented, you can’t help but be half-insulted but intrigued. In a world of total PC respect, getting told is absolutely refreshing.
If anything, Tina Snow is two types of Big Ole Freak: In the first part of the song: a sex goddess. In the second: a sensitive, dominating woman who clearly has an understanding of the tightrope walk of dominate/subordinate relationships- the line between eroticism and abuse.
Stream “Big Ole Freak” by Megan Thee Stallion from the EP, “Tina Snow” on Spotify.