Megan Thee Stallion is staring down her third consecutive Hot Girl Summer—a streak recertified this week with her new single “Thot Shit.” True to Meg form, the single’s video has a sexy surreality brought to life by the commanding athleticism of her dancers. The clip is the work of Left Productions and French director Aube Perrie, who was recruited to the project in January apparently after Megan’s team saw his video for L’Impératrice’s “Peur des filles.”
The new video is a response to the outsize conservative outrage over last year’s “WAP.” Here’s how it plays out: A misogynistic and hypocritical male senator finds himself accosted by asses as he tries to get through a day. Megan and her crew twerk front and center in a grocery store, on a police car, in a restaurant, and at the front of a garbage truck—scenarios that underscore some of the most literal ways that Black women’s labor keeps American society afloat. With allusions to iconic scenes from The Shining and Nightmare on Elm Street, the video takes a final surprising twist after some time in surgery by Dr. Megan. (The closing shot has already inspired a line of official “Coochie Mouth” merch.)
The “Thot Shit” video came together in April over two 18-hour-day shoots. The crew even developed multiple specialty camera rigs in order to capture asses at every angle; the behind-the-scenes footage is predictably great. “She has such a huge sense of humor,” Perrie says, speaking over the phone. “It only brings more power and more energy to the message, because at the end of the day, it’s just fun. We’re obviously going after a certain political class, but we’re not harming anyone when, sometimes, they are.”
Pitchfork: Was there a pitch that you built from, or did you start from scratch?
Aube Perrie: It was collaborative. She sent the song “Thot Shit” and was eager to do something narrative, something Daring with a big D. It started with the term “thot shit” and it sounded to me like Megan doing what she usually does—reclaiming a term that is used to put someone down and really using it as a weapon.
She was deeply involved in the process. She loves horror movies, so we liked the idea of going for something nightmarish. The opening sentence was one of the first things that I wrote and sent to her. She loved it, and we started to collaborate on that to start.
How did you develop the storyline of the senator’s nightmare, especially with how it responds to backlash that Megan has faced over her work?
I knew this was about what Megan stands for. We saw this backlash especially after “WAP” came out. When we heard “Thot Shit,” it was pretty obvious to me and imperative that we needed to do something extremely strong that will go for what she stands for. The idea came very quick to do this as an answer to those guys that are afraid of women’s bodies, and that’s why they are afraid of Megan. They’re afraid of the idea that a hottie might exist in every girl. They’re afraid of women’s power and freedom. The quote at the beginning, it’s actually rewritten from Fight Club. I love this quote because it allows Megan and others to say to those guys that people’s bodies matter. This quote was really convenient to say like, “Hey man, the women you’re talking about, they’re everywhere.”
Why did you choose to pull in references to those specific horror movies?
It wasn’t about specifically quoting or redoing some horror movies. It’s a culture that I love and it’s a culture that Megan loves, so I guess it came naturally. Since this is written as a nightmare for a certain political class, it put us naturally in a state of mind to do that. We needed a room key number and it was just right to use room 237 from The Shining. The Nightmare on Elm Street [bathtub] sequencing—it’s a sequence I love. In [the original] sequence it’s a girl in the bath, but here, since we have a man, you think about his legs being open—and open to a very sensitive part. It sounded right and fun to use that to play around with Megan and her sharp nails.
How much did Skip Pipo, who plays the politician, know about what he was getting into?
We had an extremely fun casting session with him. He was extremely good. He knew what he was getting into, but how can you get ready for that? How can you prepare? We knew more than anyone else, and even we were not quite ready.
There were some moments that felt more visceral with these up-close sounds, like when the politician is hit with a garbage truck, or a butt bouncing off of a shopping cart. Why emphasize those moments like that?
If you’re going to create a story about a guy seeing butts everywhere and being chased around the city, you might as well have fun with it. So we really had fun with the environment. For the shooting style, we really wanted this to be extremely intense, extremely explosive. It’s very energetic. So I was interested in documentary, verité shooting style, a lot of handheld stuff—as a matter of different things, but mostly for comedy purposes, for the energy, I thought it would be very, very powerful to do this.
I feel like it’s not like your usual pop dance video—using sound design like that, shooting handheld, shooting film—and [Megan] was absolutely not afraid of that. She has a huge sense of humor and was super interested in doing it differently, so we really had fun with the sound. It mostly serves a purpose of comedy. It’s such a strong statement, it has a pretty clear political message, but we wanted to have fun with that.
Which shot are you most proud of?
The one that comes to my mind already is definitely the shot at the end—the vulva shot. I’m still blown away that we were able to deliver that. I think it’s something very, very unique. I see it as an extremely strong message. This is what Megan is. I don’t think many people at her level would have had the guts to go for that.
Yes, it’s fun. Yes, it’s a strong ending. But also, I think it carries an important message. Obviously it’s a prosthetic, but we managed to put a vulva in a close-up on the internet. And I think it’s very important because at the end of the day, it’s just a body part. It’s nothing sexual, it’s nothing wrong. Megan had the guts to put that on the face of a political class that sexualizes everything, but at the same time are always talking about decency and how we should act and how we should not act. To be able to put that on their face, to their face—it was really amazing.