You know SZA. If you don’t you’ve heard her without knowing it. When Kendrick put the Black Panther album together (I said it was the best movie soundtrack album so far and still believe it is), little did he know that All the Stars would become a smash hit. Or he knew. I don’t know, ask him why don’t you. I bet he knew.
Obviously SZA is a shining fucking star on the R&B heaven of today, as well as the music heaven in general. Clues to the greatness of her second album Ctrl were everywhere on her mixtapes See.SZA.Run and S, not to say the least her first very much slept on album Z with my all time anthem Childs Play with Chance the Rapper. Seriously. It’s my Tinder anthem.
Let’s stay with Childs Play for a minute or two. You know when a song (or a couple of them) slips in to the existence of a certain period of your life. Like the air, your skin, the evening sky. In early June 2015 I graduated from high school and went on about that summer with a feeling that best can be described as a vacuum, the youthful vacuum between dreams and the past. The smooth smooth, kind of blasé Childs Play lingered around in that vacuum (as did Warm Winds featuring Isaiah Rashad). The lyrics put whispering words to the strange feeling of being finished with the structure of my life I officially was done with forever. Now I’m starting to wonder why it’s my Tinder anthem, why? Am I still lost? Am I still stuck in the vacuum? Maybe we all are. Please, contact me below if you’re a therapist, clearly I need to sort this out. Or maybe it’s just a great song.
ANYHOW. If you for some stupid reason haven't listened to Ctrl yet, just do it. Honestly, it's a rare treasure. Each song is distinct and levels with feelings you (okay, I) haven't really articulated or felt to the fullest yet. It's a kick in the butt for your emotional life. The video for Love Galore is one wonderfully aesthetic little gold mine. The butterflies? This is the modern day cinderella I would like to talk about. And can we talk about this live performance with Travis Scott? From 2:18 and forward the crowd is unreal. UNREAL. And please, release a version without Travis and just all SZA. Just one last thing speaking of Ctrl, I just gotta bring Miguels angelic spontaneous cover of the The Weekend into your life. Over and out.
Now to the actual thingything for this post. Artists have remixes and featurings that you might not know of. Maybe. MAYBE. So I would like to talk to you about some of SZA's guest appearances on other artists' songs.
First up: Bed. Originally from her EP See.SZA.Run, Bed has gotten an update with Nemo Achida and Moruf by the Harlem producer APSPDR+. So maybe not a straight up featuring since it's her song from the beginning, but I want to sneak it in here because yes, yes this version yes.
Second: Caretaker. With snapping fingers this was a part of the soundtrack of my 2016 spring. A more low key (and sadder) R&Bier version of Take Care by Drake and RiRi, this is three minutes of coco butter. I love coco butter.
If Caretaker is coco butter, 9 is a dream world on a meadow. A melancolic afternoon with a picnic, but you have to go because you can't wait. Willow and SZA's voices melt together creating a seamless 4 minute parallel universe (the Picnic Meadow).
"Omg, a Seinfeld intro?" you're thinking. Bear with me, I wasn't shook by it either, but interested. The Need To Know had a grip on me, and I fell for it back in the days and I keep falling for it, as well as the urge to compromise with my feelings because HEY, we can just chill, hook up, you don't have to be my boyfriend.
Now, we just have to wait for the next album. And if my gut feeling is right, it will take a while. But it's fine. If something better is up it can take forever. Imma just replay Ctrl and the songs above a million times.