SZA’s recent debut album Ctrl was long-awaited but very well received, and any summer playlist worth its salt ought to include at least one of her sultry tracks. In a recent interview with Glamour, SZA spoke about feminism and how she fits into TDE, especially after flirting with the idea of quitting music last year.
But despite reiterating that she still sometimes thinks about leaving the music business behind, SZA came to the defense of fellow TDE label member and “Doves in the Wind” collaborator Kendrick Lamar. Lamar was on the receiving end of harsh criticism for some of the lyrics on “Humble” and the corresponding images in the song’s music video earlier this year.
The lyrics in question are the following:
I'm so fuckin' sick and tired of the Photoshop/Show me something natural like afro on Richard Pryor/Show me something natural like ass with some stretch marks/Still will take you down right on your mama's couch in Polo socks
Controversy brewed over whether women need a man to tell them they look beautiful. SZA did not agree with the criticism.
“How is that misogyny if he’s supporting positive body image? I think that’s so weird, and it’s reaching,” SZA told Glamour. “If you want to support women, you should support all shapes of women,” she continued, before getting personal. “I used to be 200 pounds, and I have stretch marks all over my body. I find more comfort and solace with Kendrick reinforcing that I'm beautiful. I don’t really feel anything misogynistic from that.”
As the only woman on the TDE roster, SZA is constantly asked about misogyny and sexism within the music industry. In the same interview, she recognizes that “the undertones and male entitlement to you and your thoughts and your body and the way you look” do exist, but the 26-year-old singer adds that “I don’t try to analyze those things because I feel like if I focus on who I want to be and what I want to represent for women and what I want to represent for myself, I don’t have time to worry about how men view me.”
On Wednesday, SZA released the dates of her Ctrl Tour with Smino.