Don’t Call Her a Side Chick: My Review of @SZA “CTRL”


The first time I heard “Ctrl” by SZA, I knew it was a classic. The hip hop undertones combined with her raspy vocals create an environment that many of us have thoroughly enjoyed.

Many people however, find this album and proclaim that it is a outcry against men and a statement that “men are trash” (see Dev’s: “Men Are Trash: True, False, Draw?“). In the words of Jill Scott “Well, if they had listened to the lyrics in the first place, they wouldn’t have any questions”. What I find today is that many people hear albums but don’t listen to the messages and stories that the artist tells. As a warning, I am very pro-SZA and this is a album review.


This album is so intricately interlaced with itself it’s amazing. What I gathered was that: “I can be everything you want and desire if you desire so. However, for some reason you still seek other women.” (Point 1). “Where is a man who wants to know all of me, the quirky and interesting side in this world of women that I differ from?”  “ I could be a lot of things but I’m me.” Before I go any further I want to jump to point 1. Did anyone else catch the reference in “Love Galore” to “The Weekend?” Ok. I wanna stop there because the song “The Weekend” is being heralded as the side chick anthem, when in actuality I never once got that vibe. That song continues the narrative of the album. “I am me and I’m in control of my decisions, regardless of how other people feel about them.” “People have so many bright ideas. (Point 2). When in actuality, you can observe but your opinion isn’t necessary.” Point 2 refers to the amazingly placed interlude which when you initially hear it, sounds random but fits into the narrative of the work. “Go Gina” immediately became my favorite with it’s Martin Lawrence with what I gathered to be Pam saying “Damn Gina, why don’t you just live a little and let me live”. The rest of the album flows very soothingly with the stand out “Wavy (Interlude) Feat. James Fauntleroy” and the amazingly worded “Normal Girl.” It’s the perfect album for us “20 Something’s” out there just living life and finding our own way forward. I applaud SZA for crafting this album and can’t wait to see her live.

I typically tell people to listen to a few tracks outside of the normally discussed ones and ask for feedback to open up listeners to the rest of the album. Let me know what you think: Tweet me at @b_rockz_

 #DefinitelyDownload:

1. Doves In the Wind Feat. Kendrick Lamar

2. Go Gina

3. Normal Girl

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