“We need to protect our Black women. And love our Black women. Cause at the end of the day, we need our Black women.”

Megan Thee Stallion took a timely political stance in her debut as the musical guest on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live

Backlit by a shapeshifting monochrome set design with the statement “Protect Black Women” etched across it, the Houston rapper’s performance of “Savage” took on a powerful new meaning. Towards the end of the song, Megan paused to play recordings of Malcolm X (“Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet?,”) and activist Tamika Mallory’s seething indictment of Daniel Cameron, the Kentucky Attorney General who butchered the investigation of Breonna Taylor’s murder (“Daniel Cameron is no different than the sellout negroes that sold our people into slavery.”) Later in the show, just ahead of the curtain call, Megan was joined by Young Thug in a performance of their jolting collaborative single, “Don’t Stop.”

But the musical segments weren’t her only outings on the night. The “Hot Girl Summer” rapper was also featured in a pair of sketches, first in a live bit about the NBA bubble and again in a prerecorded mock music video about how difficult it is to see people’s faces behind their masks. There was even a reference to “WAP” in the episode’s cold open from Maya Rudolph’s Kamala Harris, who claimed the country needed a “Woman As President.”

Last night’s show, hosted by former cast member, Chris Rock, marked Saturday Night Live‘s first episode in Studio 8H since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In his opening monologue, Rock went in on the president’s myriad failures throughout the lockdown.

Watch Megan Thee Stallion bring “Savage” and “Don’t Stop” to Saturday Night Live below.

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