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Why you bother me when you know you don't want me?

I gotta keep from losin' the rest of me
Still worry that I wasted the best of me on you, babe
You don't care
Said, not tryna be a nuisance, it's just urgent
Tryna make sense of loose change
Got me a war in my mind
Gotta let go of weight, can't keep what's holding me
Choose to watch
While the world break up and fall on me
"Good Days"

Solána Imani Rowe (born November 8, 1989), known professionally as SZA (pronounced "SIZ-uh"note ), is an American R&B/neo-soul singer from Maplewood, New Jersey.

SZA began making music in the early 2010s. Around this time, she met members of the record company Top Dawg Entertainment at a Kendrick Lamar concert, and some of her music was sent to TDE president Terrence "Punch" Henderson, who was impressed. Between late 2012 and early 2013, she self-released two EPs, See.SZA.Run. and S. After they began generating buzz, she was signed to TDE, becoming the label's first female artist. Her stature rose with the release of her first studio EP, 2014's Z, after which she would collaborate with artists including Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, 50 Cent and Chance the Rapper.

She began work on her next project in 2014 shortly after Z's release. Although it started out as a fourth EP titled A, it turned into her debut album, and was eventually released on June 3, 2017 under the title Ctrl. The album opened to universal acclaim, debuted at #3 on the US Billboard 200 (eventually becoming the second longest-charting female R&B album in Billboard 200 history behind Rihanna's ANTI), and generated successful singles including "Love Galore" (featuring Travis Scott) and "The Weekend (which was remixed by Calvin Harris). Her commercial prominence grew with musical appearances including her feature on Maroon 5's hit song "What Lovers Do" and her collaborative single with Lamar for the Black Panther (2018) soundtrack, "All the Stars", which was nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Song. In March 2018, she was nominated for five Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, but controversially won none of them.

SZA's second album, SOS, was released on December 9, 2022. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, broke the US record for the largest streaming week for an R&B album, and spent 10 non-consecutive weeks at that spot, becoming the longest-running #1 female album of the decade. One of the album's singles, "Kill Bill", became SZA's first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Global 200.

Not to be confused with RZA, though her stage name was inspired by his.


  • See.SZA.Run (EP) (2012)
  • S (EP) (2013)
  • Z (EP) (2014)
  • Ctrl (2017)
  • SOS (2022)

How you want me when you got a trope?

  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: "Love Galore":
    Got me looking forWARD to weekENDS with you, baBY, with you, baBY, with you, baBY...
  • Abhorrent Admirer: SZA's ex-boyfriend in "Love Galore":
    Why you bother me when you know you don't want me?
    Why you bother me when you know you got a woman?
  • All Just a Dream: All the events at "Camp Ctrl" in the "Broken Clocks" video. It's revealed at the end that SZA got into a fight and got knocked out, and dreamt the whole thing while she was unconscious.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: "The Weekend" has a music video that fits the slow, dreamy mood of the song perfectly: SZA hanging out on a pastel hotel balcony with a soft filter.
  • *Bleep*-dammit!: Played for Laughs on "Doves in the Wind", where in SZA's second verse the word "dick" is censored even in the explicit version. This despite the word "pussy" being used 28 times in the song and "dick" being said just a few lines earlier uncensored.
  • Book Ends:
    • On Ctrl, the first song, "Supermodel", opens with a clip of SZA's mother talking about control, while the last song, "20 Something", ends with SZA's mother finishing her monologue. Additionally, both tracks have a similar subdued, acoustic guitar-based sound.
    • On SOS, the first song, "SOS" and the last, "Forgiveless" are both short hip-hop tracks in which SZA mainly raps rather than singing and disses an unnamed rival.
  • Broken Record: The outro of "Anything" is the same line repeated over and over:
    Do you even know I'm alive? Do you even know I, I... \ Do you even know I'm alive? Do you even know I, I...
    • The outro of "Broken Clocks" is also the line "You love me" repeated five or six times.
  • Epistolary Song: "Supermodel" is one, though it's only mentioned at the beginning:
    I'm writing this letter to let you know
    I'm really leaving, and no, I'm not keeping your shit...
  • Fungus Humongous: The "Good Days" music video is loaded with giant mushrooms in the scenery.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Up to eleven with the "Love Galore" single cover, where the title forms an acronym for random, unrelated words.
    Love Olive Vitamins Egg
    Gratitude Atom Lemon Octopus Rollie Energy
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When the woman with the pickaxe murders Travis Scott in the "Love Galore" video, we are only given a shot of blood splattering on the wall from a window outside.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Ctrl sees her singing more explicitly about sex and her personal life. As well, some of the videos from the album are considerably racier than her previous ones, particularly "Love Galore".
  • I Am Not Pretty: SZA's insecurities about her appearance come up frequently on Ctrl:
    • From "Supermodel":
      I could be your supermodel if you believe
      If you see it in me, see it in me, see it in me
      I don't see myself
    • From "Garden (Say it Like Dat)":
      I know you'd rather be layin' up with a big booty
      Prolly hella positive 'cause she got a big booty (wow)
      I know I'd rather be paid up
      You know I'm sensitive about havin' no booty, havin' nobody, only you, buddy
    • "Special" from SOS is about this, as a result of a toxic relationship ruining her self-esteem:
      I wish I was that girl from the Gucci store
      She never wore any makeup and she owns couture
      I got pimples where my beauty marks should be
      I got dry skin on my elbows and knees
      I never liked her, wanted to be like her
      Hate how you look at her 'cause you never saw me
  • If I Can't Have You…: Quoted verbatim in "Kill Bill", a song that narrates her fantasy of killing her ex and his new girlfriend (and eventually doing it). In the first bridge, she sings, "If I can't have you, no one should," with "should" being replaced with "will" in the second bridge, indicating that she is coming closer to going through with her murderous plan.
  • Ignored Epiphany: In the bridge of "Kill Bill", she has a moment of clarity in which she mentions she's a mature woman who's seeing a therapist to help her with her breakup and thinks about how there are many other men out there... only to immediately conclude that she only wants her ex, following into the chorus in which she starts fantasizing about killing him and his new girlfriend.
    I'm so mature, I'm so mature
    I'm so mature, I got me a therapist to tell me there's other men
    I don't want none, I just want you
    If I can't have you, no one should
  • Incest Subtext: Inverted in "Supermodel" where people apparently compare SZA and her ex to siblings:
    "Ooh, just get a load of them, they got chemistry"
    All they could say, we like brother and sister
    Look so good together
    "Bet they fuckin' for real"—and they was right
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Known for this, especially due to the aforementioned AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle. Try to guess the lyrics to her verse on "All the Stars" without looking them up.
  • Lyrics/Video Mismatch: Subverted in the video for "Broken Clocks". Other than the alarm clock at the beginning of the video, the setting at a kids' summer camp seems completely unrelated to the song's lyrics about being constantly busy with work and not being able to balance it with her personal life, but it turns out it was All Just a Dream imagined by SZA after she gets knocked out from a fight at the strip club she's working at (which the song's lyrics do reference.)
  • The Mistress: "The Weekend" is all about this, with SZA being the mistress (or one of many). Several other songs on Ctrl also make reference to being involved with men who are already in a relationship.
    My man is my man is your man, heard that's her man too
    Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
    I just keep him satisfied through the weekend
  • Murder Ballad: "Kill Bill" is one, sung from the killer's perspective:
    I just killed my ex, not the best idea
    Killed his girlfriend next, how'd I get here?
  • Non-Appearing Title:
    • "Love Galore", "Drew Barrymore", and "Prom" from Ctrl.
    • "SOS", "Kill Bill", "F2F", "Ghost In the Machine", "Conceited" and "Forgiveless" from SOS.
  • Oh No You Didn't: On "Supermodel":
    "Oh no, she didn't", oh yes, I did
    "Oh no, she didn't", I'll do it again
  • Orphaned Series: Her second and third EPs were titled S and Z respectively. Ctrl was supposed to be titled A but its name was changed during production. It's unknown if an album or EP titled A will ever be released.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: "F2F" from SOS is a pop-punk song, in contrast to the R&B sound of the rest of the album and SZA's music in general.
  • Posthumous Collaboration: "Forgiveless" features vocals from the late Ol' Dirty Bastard's "The Stomp" and an unreleased freestyle taken from a yet-to-be released documentary about ODB.
  • Rhyming with Itself: Does this quite a lot. Usually it's entire lines that are repeated with slight variation for emphasis. See "Garden (Say it Like Dat)" for a good example:
    I know I be difficult
    You know I be difficult
    You know it get difficult
  • Shout-Out:
    • Her stage name was a homage to RZA of Wu-Tang Clan, who also took his name from the Five Percent Nation's "Supreme Alphabet".
    • To Forrest Gump on "Doves in the Wind". SZA also imitates Forrest's way of pronouncing "Jenny".note 
      Forrest Gump had a lot goin' for him, never without pussy
      You know, Jenny almost gave it all up for him
      Never even pushed for the pussy... Where's Forrest now when you need him?
    • "Doves in the Wind" also references MADtv, interpolating part of the show's intro:
      You are now watching MADtv...
    • The song "Drew Barrymore", though the lyrics don't make any reference to her.
    • The title and lyrics of "Go Gina" are a reference to the character Gina from Martin and the title character's catchphrase "Damn, Gina!"
    • In "Normal Girl", she interpolates part of Drake's "Controlla":
      Okay, you like it, when I be aggressive...
    • SOS is jam-packed with references:
      • Two tracks, "Kill Bill" and "Gone Girl", are titled after films: "Kill Bill" is titled after the 2003-2004 martial arts duology by Quentin Tarantino, whereas "Gone Girl" gets its name from David Fincher's 2014 adaptation of the 2012 book by Gillian Flynn.
      • She alludes to Star Wars in "Used":
        Niggas tryna break my focus
        Bitch, I'm Obi-Wan
      • In "Snooze", she makes a reference to Scarfacethe 1983 remake, that is:
        In a drop-top ride with you, I feel like Scarface (Scarface)
        Like that white bitch with the bob, I'll be your main one
      • And finally, with "Conceited", we get a reference to Those Yellow Tic-Tacs from the Despicable Me franchise:
        All these bitches is minions, despicable like, ooh
      • She namechecks several pop culture figures in the title track (Tom Brady, Kevin Durant, Della Reese)...
        Talkin' I'm off the bench like Brady
        I'm pressin' niggas like KD, it's up
        Yeah, nigga, it's up to me
        Remind you of Della Reese
      • ... and "Blind" (a fascinatingly eclectic mix of Julia Stiles, Muhammad Ali, Bob Saget, and Jesus).
        Put the hood on, now they callin' me Cassius
        Raunchy like Bob Saget
        Greedy, I can't pass it [...]
        I ain't no Julia Stiles, this ain't no
        Last Dance
        Way past it, way [...]
        I hurt too much, I lost too much, I lust too much
        I hit my clutch, vroom vroom
        Third day, pop out the tomb
      • There is another Biblical reference to be found in this album, specifically in "Ghost in the Machine", the indie pop collab with indie rock icon Phoebe Bridgers:
        Can you lead me to the Ark, what's the password?
  • Spoken Word in Music: The songs on Ctrl are interspersed with snippets of her real-life mother, aunt and grandmother talking and giving life advice.
  • The Unapologetic: Assumes this role in "Supermodel" after admitting to sleeping with a wronging ex-boyfriend's friend, both in how nonchalantly she confesses this and these following lines:
    "Oh no, she didn't." Ooh yes, I did.
    "Oh no, she didn't." I'll do it again.
  • Yandere: On "Kill Bill."
    I don't want none, I just want you
    If I can't have you, no one will


Video Example(s):


SZA - Kill Bill

"I might kill my ex, not the best idea..."

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / MurderBallad

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