Spotlighting the next generation artist.
By Zaida Diaz
By now I’m sure you’ve caught wind of TDE’s sensational songbird, but just in case you haven’t we’re catching you up. In 2014, SZA (Solana Rowe) dropped her Z EP under the independent label; the project was a continuation of a series she began before she was signed. Fans expected her major debut album Ctrl to be titled A, as it was the last and missing letter of her themed mixtapes. Between projects, SZA threatened to leave the music industry due to album delays and lack of communication within TDE. Alas her highly anticipated debut is here and let us tell you it was worth the wait. In comparison to most of her previous work, the singer-songwriter demonstrates a more vulnerable side. Ctrl is packed with brutally honest lyrics and we can’t stop listening.
During the opening song Solana confesses to having revenge sex with her ex’s friend after learning about his indiscretions. (We mentioned she wasn’t holding anything back this time. Yeah, we weren’t playing.) The introspective track finds SZA exploring her insecurities and self-destructive nature over guitar strings.
It’s being dubbed the “side-chick” anthem, but it’s more than that. SZA questions the validity in relationship titles or the idea that people “belong to each other,” when in reality we only ever really belong to ourselves. She furthers this concept in “Go Gina.”
Our time is borrowed and SZA suggests making the most of it while we’re still here.
Pretty Little Birds ft. Isaiah Rashad
This is perhaps the closest thing to SZA’s prior mixtapes when it comes to lyricism. The Jersey singer describes herself as a bird that occasionally “hits the window a few times,” yet has the potential to soar. TDE labelmate Isaiah Rashad ascends into the heavens alongside her – both aiming for self-improvement.
I think your 20’s, especially early 20’s, can be pretty difficult because your not a kid anymore, but you don’t exactly have your shit together either. There’s a lot of uncertainty during this period and SZA not only captures this, but also offers a ray of hope on the albums closing number.