by Jamar Langston

The first time I heard SZA I just happened upon a video of her just talking about student loans and trying to discover what identity meant to her. That’s what pulled me in. A girl just trying to discover what self-meant and having a public space to do that.

The long awaited summer album of Solana Rowe, Ctrl was slated to debut the summer of 2016 but was met with bumps in the road that pushed it into 2017. In Ctrl, not only are we seeing an older SZA but a young woman with more transparency in her lyrics and a braveness that we couldn’t grasp onto in past projects. The passing of time and the ability to speak truth to her experiences helped develop an impressive body of work that makes me even more excited for more music in the future.

This album alone musically we hear a stripped down and turned up SZA, with much heavier beat influence and a fusion of indie rock and neo-soul influences that collide to create a slick drum heavy sound that makes everything head nod worthy.