Can the world love to two light-skin girls at the same time?
Unless you have been living under a rock, you should know that alternative R&B and neo-soul singer SZA released her debut album “Ctrl,” and frankly it’s been blazin’ up the summer. From the soundtrack of hit-show Insecure to Black twitter, you can’t help to but to stumble upon someone talking about this album or her upcoming tour.
I was out of the country most of the summer so this month I finally got a full listen to the album. Strangely, something about this sound, this hype, and this moment felt very familiar. When I got to the track, “The Weekend” I realized what it was — SZA is the new Jhene Aiko.
In 2014, Jhene Aiko released her debut album “Souled Out,” and they’re very similar fanfare. People were calling Jhene Aiko the future of R&B music and pointing outthat she was speaking to this generation’s experiences of love and relationships. In 2014, Jhene could do no wrong. Let’s flip the calendar to 2017, where is she? Somewhere making f*ckboy decisions with Big Sean? Who knows. But, 2014 Jhene was much like today’s SZA, and I do believe there is one prevailing reason on why SZA is indeed the new Jhene.
The Queen of Situationships
There can only be one true queen of situationships. Even though SZA is #OnlyLightSkinWhenTheFlashHit, she is still a beautiful brown-skin black girl. We know that n*ggas are quick to make the brown skin girls the side pieces while making it “official” with the light-brights of the world. Jhene is no exception. Her music is mostly centered around being a light skin girl with a n*gga who just ain’t enough for all of her royal lightskinnedness. Jhene is that friend on her wedding day talking about she wonders what it would be like to be with other n*ggas for a night. She is the primary heartbreaker. In 2014, we thought we were Jhene Aiko, but are not. SZA is us. As my best friend Kailah says, “She [SZA] is the girl who always be in situationships and is always close to being with someone but somehow that sh*t f*cks up.” SZA is in a real vulnerable state in her music. She’s talking the misfortune of these f*ck-n*ggas, and her semi-problematic interactions with them and she’s turning it into art.
In a world where two breathy female R&B artist can co-exist, I beg the question do we even need more of them in the game anymore? If SZA is taking neo-hoeing to the next level musically, then do we need Jhene Aiko to make music that just makes her boyfriend jealous? Maybe this is the universe working out a colorism injustice in public by allowing SZA to occupy this moment because Jhene Aiko, she was just giving it before because she was light-skin.
I really don’t know. I’m just going to listen to SZA’s, “The Weekend” on repeat until there are signs the Jhene’s career will recover.
P.S. Spotify let me know that I listened to the “The Worst” over 300 times in 2015 and I’m embarrassed about it.