Top Dawg Entertainment is having an excellent 2016. The west-coast label has brought us Kendrick’s Untitled Unmastered, ScHoolboy Q’s Blank Face, and Isaiah Rashad’s The Sun’s Tirade―three albums that can be argued as some of the best rap records to be released this year. Ab-Soul is up next, his new single “Huey Knew,” is the kind of music his fans have been waiting for. Hopes are high that he will continue the label's incredible winning streak.
The only artists left on the roster who are slated to drop albums are SZA and the newly-signed Lance Skiiiwalker. While Lance has yet to carve out a lane for himself, SZA has a passionate following who is eager to hear how the songstress has improved and evolved. Her fans are hoping that she will be next in the cycle after Ab.
Surprisingly, SZA took to Twitter Monday evening (October 3) and announced that she quit and told Punch, TDE’s president, that he can release her album whenever he'd like:
SZA quit!? If being signed to a label was like working a 9 to 5, SZA just publicly put in her two-week notice. Unlike McDonald’s, quitting the music industry isn’t so simple, especially once you sign to a label. SZA has contractual obligations, and unless she has amassed the kind of money to buy herself out of her record deal, quitting is much harder than a Twitter announcement. Punch followed up her tweet with a simple “Lol” and a picture of Heath Ledger’s Joker. I don’t know if SZA is the Joker, or if Punch is the Joker, but it’s not April Fool’s and the thought of SZA quitting is far from funny.
The life of an artist is stressful. I’m sure there’s a lot of weight resting on her shoulders that could have caused her to tweet those words. Maybe there are some internal label issues she’s unsatisfied with. Ab-Soul once threatened to leak his album due to frustrations with the label. I won’t discredit the message as simple trolling, it’s possible that she truly wants to quit, at least in that moments. Feelings are fleeting, she can want to quit today, but wake up tomorrow and want to be bigger than Michael Jackson. Until SZA decides to open up about the context of her tweet, all we can do is guess.
It’s been two years since SZA released Z, an album that was received with praise and applause. She has shown tremendous growth on songs like “Sobriety,” “twoAM,” and “Divinity” that were released as loosies on SoundCloud. Appearing on Rihanna’s “Consideration” was a huge moment for the singer, a placement that put her voice on one of the biggest pop albums of 2016.
SZA is knocking on the door to breaking out as a big, glowing star. She has reached an incredible place where she isn’t in the shadow of any of her TDE label mates. There’s no telling how high she can rise, how far she can go, and I would hate to never know due to her throwing in the towel right before the big game.
By Yoh, aka Will You Marry Me SZA? aka @Yoh31.
Photo Credit: Instagram