SZA kept her fans waiting for her sophomore release for six years. She finally shared the stunning 23-track album, SOS, back in December. The long-awaited project didn’t disappoint with soon-to-be staples like “Kill Bill,” “Nobody Gets Me” and “Low” becoming fan favorites.
She released her debut album in 2017, making a name for herself through deeply candid lyricism and a hip-hop-influenced sound. With both projects under her belt, she is well on her way to taking the crown for modern R&B.
Though both albums are chock full of impressive efforts, we’ve chosen 10 that stand out above the rest. Find our picks for the top 10 SZA songs below.
“Blind” is featured on SZA’s latest album, SOS. Despite not being released as a single, the track has become a fan favorite. It’s one of the more introspective songs in the singer’s catalog as she sings about being blind to the good things in her life: All of the things I need living inside of me / I can’t see it / It’s so embarrassing / All of the love I seek living inside of me / I can’t see, I’m blind.
9. “Love Galore”
“Love Galore” features a sparse tropical beat that she has likened to the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo.” “I always get excited when I hear tropical beats,” she told Genius. She tapped Travis Scott for this song about wanting an ex-lover back in one’s life. The duo has collaborated a number of times, including Scott’s “Ok Alright” and “Open Arms” on SZA’s latest album.
8. “Nobody Gets Me”
One of the many things SZA does well is meander in and out of genres. Her distinctive vocals and phrasing make each song she’s on feel innate, despite stretching her musical bounds. Sonically, “Nobody Gets Me” is reminiscent of a ’00s shoegaze ballad. Lyrically, SZA stays true to herself singing, So wasted screamin’, “Fuck that, ” love me now, but I’m anythin.’
7. “Drew Barrymore”
SZA imbues a range of emotion into “Drew Barrymore.” The song stems from a party she went to for a boy, only to find out he brought another girl along. “I was really excited [and] it turns out he brought a girl to the party,” SZA said during a VEVO Halloween concert. So, basically, I went. I did not ever see him for the entire party [and] I smoked all [my] weed by myself…And [I] had a fantastic time.”
“Shirt” first saw the light of day on Tik Tok. Though the track was originally untitled, fans started nicknaming the track “Shirt.” SZA liked it so much that she kept the name and gave it a permanent home on SOS.
5. “Broken Clocks”
“Broken Clocks” is a classic on Ctrl. In the lyrics, she wrestles with finding the balance between her working life and her love life. Won’t get past the lunch break / I ain’t had a smoke break / In about two days don’t break / Been about three years since I dated you / Why you still talking ’bout me like we together, she sings.
“Low” is a straight R&B banger. The rolling chorus is tailor-made for a night out. It’s impossible to skip this one when it comes on. Got another side of me, I like to get it poppin’ / But these bitches in my business got me outchea choosin’ violence / If you see me out in public, you don’t know me, keep it silent, she sings.
3. “Kill Bill”
“Kill Bill” is the undisputed standout on SOS. The track gleans its title from the Quentin Tarantino film of the same name and the storyline follows suit. After a nasty break-up, SZA sets out to get revenge on her ex and his new lover. It features one of the catchiest choruses in recent memory and has proven to be a massive commercial success for SZA.
2. “Good Days”
“Good Days” features some of SZA’s most finely crafted lyrics. She sings, Feeling like Jericho / Feeling like Job when he lost his shit / Gotta hold my own, my cross to bear alone. The lush instrumental can’t help but roll around in your mind for days.
1. “The Weekend”
“The Weekend” is still one of SZA’s most famous songs. In her typical fashion, she doesn’t shy away from the messier parts of life and instead faces them head-on. It’s part of what makes SZA such a unique artist.
“Time-sharing a man is real AF,” she once told Vulture. “If we’re all being honest there’s very few men that are just dating one woman. I think, low-key, the internet makes it so difficult [to be in relationships] because we’re taking in so much information. There’s always new, new, new, more, more, more. Having one person seems like a restriction, like a limitation.”
Photo via Getty / Phillip Faraone