SZA: “Growing up, I couldn't do anything other than what my dad did. So basically, I listened to Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong. That was my only option. My only interaction outside of those things had to be by accident.
“One of my classmates had a bar mitzvah so my dad let me go. She gave us this little goodie bag that had a mixtape that had Red Hot Chili Peppers, LFO, Macy Gray all this emo sad rich white kid shit on it. I loved that CD, I played it until it was finished.
I was obsessed with my sister, I wanted to get closer to her. I heard a Lil Jon song one time on her answering machine, so I bought a Lil Jon CD just to play that one song. Of course my dad found it, threw it out, and grounded me.
“My sister was completely different than I was. She’s my half sister so we have the same dad different moms. She was going through all kinds of shit and came from Cali to our house and changed everything. She was blasting Wu-Tang, Cash Money, and Lil Jon all day every day. It was my only outlet into what was going on [at that time].
“I was obsessed with my sister, she was so close yet so far away and I wanted to get closer to her. I heard a Lil Jon song one time on her answering machine, so I bought a Lil Jon CD just to play that one song. I didn't even like song that much, it just made me feel like I was closer to her. Of course my dad found it, threw it out, and grounded me.
“Other than that, the slight glimpses of outside music came from this iPod I found in gymnastic camp. The dial didn’t work, but it would play all the way through. It had Common, Bjork, a lot of Wu, Nas, Mos Def, Hov on it. That was my only thing and I was like this shit is tough. That stuck hard, so when I finally heard Common’s voice again I didn’t know who he was because I couldn't see him on the screen but I was like who is that? Then I found out it was him and got into Common. I’ve had a crush on him for like a decade.”