label drama

SZA Calls Out ‘Hostile’ Record Label for Holding Up New Music

Photo: RMV/Shutterstock

More than three years after SZA released her debut album, Ctrl, which was plagued by delays since 2015, she’s addressing the delay behind follow-up music. “At this point y’all gotta ask punch,” she wrote in a tweet on August 19 (the tweet has since been deleted). “I’ve done all I can do.” Punch is the rapper who serves as president of Top Dawg Entertainment, SZA’s label (which is also known for working with Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, and Jay Rock). One fan, @SKYENEXTDOOR, had asked Punch about releasing new SZA music, according screengrabbed Instagram comments they tweeted. He replied to their comment, “soon.” “This is all he says to me as well,” SZA tweeted in reply. “Welcome to my fucking life.” Another fan, @devanteb, replied to her initial tweet asking, “Would you saaay this is an adverse or hostile relationship orrr just out of your hands = you don’t know.” SZA answered, “BEEN hostile.”

Indirectly responding to SZA’s comments, Punch tweeted last night, “I am a person and you guys are hurting my feelings.” He added in a second tweet, “I’m gonna remember you n- - -as once the meet and greets pop off again.” SZA tweeted at the beginning of 2020 that she and Punch had discussed releasing new music this year. In a February Rolling Stone profile, she doubled down that new music would come out in 2020, but said an album was “strong words.” She tweeted in May that she wanted to release a “music dump” of previously unreleased songs, and asked fans for help sourcing the music. Speaking to Vulture around the 2017 release of Ctrl, SZA said her perfectionism contributed to the wait for her debut. “I think the delays were, like, coming in and out of me being lost in the album,” she said, “so I didn’t notice them as much.” Since Ctrl, SZA released “All the Stars” with Kendrick Lamar for Black Panther in 2018, “Just Us” with DJ Khaled in 2019, and “The Other Side” with Justin Timberlake for Trolls World Tour earlier this year.

SZA Calls Out ‘Hostile’ Label for Holding Up New Music