Women and hip hop have always had a love-hate relationship. Routinely, male rappers refer to women as “b*tches” and hoes, and boast about having copious amounts of sex in their lyrics. But with SZA’s new album CTRL, it brought a refreshing, much needed feminine touch to the over-saturated, over-testosteroned music industry today.
Besides being the very first woman to be signed to TDE (alongside esteemed artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad), her honeyed voice drips with passion and reflection beckoning listeners to hear what she has to say. But her lyrics and her persona don’t appeal to everyone.
Especially with the debut of her latest album, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly she says,
“I’m talking a lot of grimy shit, but it’s true.”
CTRL is a deeply personal and provocative look into how SZA has navigated the mountains and valleys that exist as modern romance today. We live in an age where casual, sexual relationships are king; propelled by Tinder and the digital opportunities we have at our fingertips.
The insight SZA provides on this battered realm of romance has been raw and real, much like her real life persona. She’s exposes that “Supermodel” is about how her ex-boyfriend left her on Valentine’s Day while she slept with his friend for revenge. Her song “The Weekend” talks about knowingly sharing a boyfriend with other women; with the hook gently crooning, “My man is my man is your man, heard it’s her man, too”.
The album exudes sexual freedom, yet scrutinizes modern dating and explores the need for genuine intimacy. However, many people have reduced SZA to a “thot” or a “hoe” because of her unabashed personal perspective of romance and dating.
SZA is a thot and yall praise this chick
— Honest Royalty™ (@Mr_jayhill) June 26, 2017
Ctrl has been called a hoe anthem, instead of being recognized for the freedom and rare reality that it delivers. Furthermore, many male artists and rappers routinely mention f*cking droves and droves of females, yet they do not get dragged to the same extent that SZA has.
Overall, despite the negative critiques Ctrl is a pivotal album representing the dirty side of dating and romance, as well as representing and liberating women today who are sexually active; a concept that is still difficult for many to grasp.
I look forward to what art SZA will create for us next; I already know that with her talent and persona she will remain one of my top artists to look out for.