There are few times where an album is more than just an album. A therapeutic release for an artist can't be defined as just an album. There are rare occurrences when the world can understand and relate to the artist on levels deeper than music.
So often, artists give the world music that the world wants to hear. But hardly ever do we get music that the world, especially young people, need to hear. By sharing her personal stories and life experiences with the world, SZA takes control.
June 9, 2017
It's hard for any young woman living through her twenty-somethings to navigate through life in a male-dominated world. She is still trying to learn about herself while still having to live up to certain "standards" that have been put up for her by outside influences. How she's dresses, her goals, the guys she does or doesn't date, her hair, her skin, must all fall in line with how society says its all supposed to be.
SZA is bold enough to say "Nah." A true role model for young people and young women specifically. She talks to herself, ex's, friends, family, and the listener throughout this album. Sometimes its not about getting answers, yet just about being heard.
Her story, relived.
Chapter 1: Supermodel
Leave me lonely for prettier women
What is it about physical beauty that leads men to believe it will lead to happiness? It has been this way for thousands of years, but today much of it has to do with the social media world we live in. They want to flaunt all the great things they have in life, including their women.
There is even a term called "Trophy Wife." Women are not an accomplishment, or even some type of award. For too long, women have been viewed as an amenity and not a necessity. We need our powerful women, who are all beautiful in their own right and must be appreciated as such.
The trap this creates is the woman begins to believe that she is not beautiful. Beauty lies within the eyes of the beholder, yet the one to behold sees no beauty within herself. SZA fights with her own thoughts and feelings and it leads herself to believe that she needs him, even when she has a million reasons not to.
Men, believe in your women.
Chapter 3: Doves in the Wind
Real niggas do not deserve pussy
The Pussy Song! Pussy Pussy Pussy. That's all that matters in this world, honestly. But not the pussy you're thinking of. SZA is talking about a woman's entire being. Pussy isn't just pussy. Pussy is everything the woman has to offer.
Love, care, and knowledge. For men, the ultimate goal has been to get to the pussy in her pants. But men have been looking at it all wrong for far too long. Men should be seeking those three key traits that give themselves the courage and power to really consider themselves accomplished men.
Think about Forrest Gump. That guy lived the best life anyone could possibly ask for, and he really had the pussy the whole time. Jenny gave everything except for that one thing and he accomplished everything in the world. Men too, can accomplish everything if they can change their own perception on pussy.
Chapter 6: The Weekend
My man is my man, is your man
Relationships get complicated sometimes. And just like men, women have the capability to be imperfect when it comes to fidelity. Whether you're on the girlfriend side or you're the side chick, there is still hurt to be felt from every perspective.
SZA is speaking from the perspective of the side chick who knows she's the side chick, yet still see the beauty in all of it. She doesn't mind sharing him, but probably mostly because he is not technically her man. In her mind, everyone wins because they all are getting what they want out of their relationships.
Yet the pain her words and her voice can still be felt. She knows she is simply there for the weekend. She talks about how if he wanted more of her, she would open herself up to that. The time may be enough for now, but eventually the weekends may not be enough.
Chapter 7: Go Gina
Damn Gina, damn Gina
In case you have never watched the show Martin, Gina is in reference to a character on the show who always seems to be holding herself to a higher standard and sometimes comes off as corporate and business minded. She finds it hard to allow herself to be free willing and carefree.
SZA seems to be talking to herself as she is trying to talk to her inner Gina. One side of her is trying to tell Gina that it works for her. She talks about how hard it is to hold herself up when she is the way she is. Giving examples of how cool she is when she is just hanging out with her high friends.
Sometimes its about not worrying about what anyone else thinks. And sometimes its about not worrying about what you think anyone else thinks. These little tips she gives herself in this song are meant to not be hurtful, but to build her up into a strong yet carefree woman.
Chapter 8: Garden (Say it Like That)
Need you for the old me, need you for my sanity
Alright men, sometimes you guys are pretty good. Y'all got a lot to handle. Women are very delicate creatures, and it is your job to display comfort and care constantly. Any little misstep and it could be explosive. But all you need to do everyday is remind them who they are and why they're here.
If your girl asks you if her booty looks bigger, the obvious answer is yes. Unless of course she wants the answer to be no, then you say no. Your words are like ingredients to an elaborate recipe. Put a little too much salt and you may find yourself in the doghouse.
SZA knows how she is, and she doesn't know how hard it must be to have to deal with her difficult ass. But at the same time, it's his job to know what he got himself into. Whoever she is talking to, keep doing what you're doing. Because you got the juice.
Chapter 12: Normal Girl
This time next year I'll be livin' so good
What even is a normal girl? And is it a good thing or a bad thing? SZA makes the normal girl sound boring and bland. She sarcastically states that she wishes she was a normal girl, because maybe then he would like her.
All these dudes out here are dating normal girls, while SZA is doing her own thing. In her own words, she be "wylin'" sometimes. Well shit girl, do you. Men are so clueless, they probably think she really wishes she was normal.
Don't be normal. Be yourself ladies.
Chapter 14: 20 Something
Stuck in them 20 somethings, stuck in them 20 somethings
The most challenging time in ones life, those twenty-somethings. Still trying to figure out who you are and what you have to offer to the world. Getting old enough to consciously ask yourself what you're doing with your life, yet still young enough to not care. Everyday is like a ping pong game in your mind.
Some of your friends are moving on in their lives. Starting a new career, getting married and having kids, and spending less time with you. You will lose some friends along the way, but its all a part of life. This time in your life may seem difficult at times, and it may drain you mentally and physically.
As she states, it even kills some innocent souls. She is praying that you get through your twenty-somethings alive, well, and still holding on to some friends.
SZA's first full-length album under Top Dog Entertainment is unlike a lot of music out there. There isn't too many artists allowing themselves to open up and be so free with their feelings. Being able to be in control of her life and her emotions has allowed her to find a way to cope with her twenty-somethings. At 29 years old, she was able to reflect on goals, relationships, and her life.
This album is both honest and bold. It allows the listener to build courage, feel fear, as well as challenge themselves to be better.
Listen to this album to help take control of your life.