THIS IS NOT A DRILL! Fans have been patiently waiting for new recorded material from Carson, California-based outfit/superstar label TDE Entertainment’s First Lady, SZA (born Solána Imani Rowe). The multi-talented singer-songwriting songstress, Maplewood, New Jersey-based recording artist, SZA recently released her latest hypnotically sexy single “Hit Different” featuring Los Angeles, California-based R&B singer Ty Dolla $ign. According to a press release, this marks the first single from SZA since her featured spot on Justin Timberlake’s 2020 single “The Other Side” from Trolls World Tour original motion picture soundtrack and her feature on Kendrick Lamar’s “All The Stars” from 2018’s Black Panther: The Album.
SZA’s latest single and accompanying music video for “Hit Different” premiered Thursday, September 3, with its production credited to Grammy award-winning Virginia Beach, Virginia-based duo, The Neptunes. This marks the music video directorial debut of SZA herself (credited under her first name, Solana). The video opens up with SZA and her color coordinated choreography accompaniment showcasing tantalizing dance moves, at what looks to be in the backdrop of a junkyard. Juxtaposed in the next scene is SZA by herself in a more elegantly, wildly open countryside setting, also gracefully slow-jamming to the tune on top of heaps of hay. Inter-spliced in between the two sequences is SZA looking either scantly clad to almost nude covered in blood as well as swimming in a pool. Ty Dolla $ign’s catchy melodic hook is heard throughout, but is not physically seen until the conclusion of the music video.
The track itself is a throwback R&B homage to the sounds popularized by Pharrell Williams himself and fellow Virginia-native Timbaland, especially reminiscent to their production associated with their contemporaries Missy Elliot, Ginuwine, Justin Timberlake, etc. SZA’s silky, angelic vocals commands the listener’s attention and never misses a beat. The Neo-soul, trap-tinged funk vibes SZA always brings to the table, are exactly what SZA’s fans have been clamoring for since her 2017 debut release, CTRL. Booming bass and clean eclectic drum patterns that is signature to the The Neptunes lush sound, makes for a welcoming listen for SZA’s “Hit Different.” To listen to “Hit Different” featuring Ty Dolla $ign stream below, via YouTube.
It seemed like fans weren’t going to hear solo recorded material anytime soon from SZA, since earlier last month the songstress was airing out frustrations with the delay of her sophomore follow-up effort from 2017’s CTRL. In a since-deleted tweet the TDE Entertainment self-proclaimed First Lady SZA responded to one of her fans, previously reported by EW, tweeting “‘At this point y’all gotta ask punch,’” referencing Top Dawg Entertainment boss Terrence ‘Punch’ Henderson. Later, after a fan asked if her relationship with the label was ‘adverse or hostile,’ she responded, ‘BEEN hostile.’”
BEEN hostile .
— SZA (@sza) August 20, 2020
As of late, SZA was featured as a performing artist for an in-home performance for a New Jersey Coronavirus benefit concert, along with Halsey and Bruce Springsteen, back in April. As previously reported, here on mxdwn, SZA also took part in a collaborative track with The Weeknd and Travis Scott, called “Power is Power,” “…from For the Throne, an album inspired by HBO’s hit series, Game of Thrones.”
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna