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On the DL: Vol. 1

February 21, 2023

Hi guys! Welcome to On the DL Vol 1, I’m super excited to share some songs and artists that I personally believe should see the same amount of daylight as charting singles and mainstream artists do. As someone that’s a major SZA fan I was begging for her to drop an album. I hoped that the bits and crumbs that we got from her collaborations with artists like Kendrik Lamar, Doja Cat, and Lizzo would lead to an album. Finally, five years after the release of CTRL, SZA released ‘SOS

Upon its release in December, ‘SOS’ debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, this marked SZA’s first number 1 album on the Billboard chart.. The album follows SZA’s experiences through love and loss through her lyrics and storytelling. Throughout the album SZA stays true to her R&B roots even with songs that feature artists like Travis Scott and Don Toliver. ‘SOS’ is full of hit after hit, with songs like “Kill Bill” which charted at number 2 on the hot 100 chart and other hits like “Low”, “Blind”, “Shirt”, “Good Days” and more. All of those songs are definitely in my rotation of songs that I listen to the most off of ‘SOS’. But the real star of the album, in my opinion, is “F2F”. I remember listening to ‘SOS’ when it came out on December 14th and loving the way that SZA is able to masterfully tell her story through R&B, a genre that she has impacted immensely. I was shocked when the gentleness of “Ghost in the Machine” ended and “F2F” had a strong guitar and was pop-punk. It immediately became my favorite song off the album – did it have to do with the fact that I love pop-punk music? Most likely. But what drew my attention the most was the fact that it was so different from the other songs on the album. 

“F2F” I think, is the opposite of “Kill Bill”, where “Kill Bill” talks about SZA  wanting to kill her ex, “F2F” is about SZA herself and how she’s willing to forget her ex. In fact, in “F2F ” SZA admits that she  is the toxic one in the relationship with the main chorus “get a rise out of watchin’ you fall/ get a kick out of missin’ your call” powered by electric guitars. While the guitars and strong drums create the rhythm, it is SZA’s voice that carries the song, it’s the same silky voice that shines through in the rest of the album, the only change is the genre, and then after the song is over its back to regularly scheduled programming with more of her iconic R&B hits. 

It makes sense that SZA was able to easily switch from R&B to rock and then back to R&B, both genres started from black musical culture rooted in blues and rhythm. I know that “Kill Bill” and “Low” will continue to be the main hits off of ‘SOS’ but “F2F” offers a fresh sound on an album that stays to one particular genre. It’s the perfect song to blast at night on those long drives or just general. It’s my favorite and I hope it might be yours too. 


Works Cited

Madden, Sidney. “SZA goes pop punk on “F2F” : #NowPlaying.” NPR, 14 December 2022, Accessed 19 February 2023.

Samuels, Keithan. “SZA’s ‘SOS’ Debut at No. 1 on Billboard 200.” Rated R&B, 20 December 2022, Accessed 19 February 2023.

“SZA – Chart History.” Billboard, Accessed 19 February 2023.

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