SZA, Top 10, List, R&B

Top 10 SZA Songs

After many years, SZA has finally released her sophomore LP, SOS. It's certainly Album of the Year material, complete with 23 new tracks that SZA has patiently and skillfully crafted. We're happy she's back. In our eyes, SZA is the current queen of modern R&B.

SZA (real name: Solána Imani Rowe) was raised in Maplewood, New Jersey by her Christian mother and Muslim father. Her stage name is actually derived from the Supreme Alphabet, taking influence from rapper RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan. The last two letters in her name stand for Zig-Zag and Allah, while the first letter S can mean either savior or sovereign. After stumbling her way through college and odd jobs, SZA finally took up singing and signed to hip-hop label Top Dawg Entertainment in the 2010s. She gained recognition for co-writing "Feeling Myself" with Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé and being featured on Rihanna's song "Consideration." But once she released her debut studio album Ctrl in 2017, she became a superstar.

Typically releasing poignant tracks about self-love, relationship troubles, and mental health, SZA is one of those artists that has defined "hip" music. Her tracks can contain a tsunami of emotions, but never get too explosive. For this list, we'll be taking a look at SZA's critical and commercial successes. We'll be steering clear of songs where she's only featured, instead sticking to original songs that appear on one of her own releases. With that said, let's cut to the chase! Below are SZA's 10 best songs.

10. "Blind"

"Blind" is a pretty little track off SZA's lastest album, SOS. It was first featured at the end of the music video for the third single, “Shirt,” and SZA debuted the song during a performance on SNL. “Blind” speaks about being blind to the good things, and SZA also touches on attempting to seek the things that are right in front of you.

This is one of the most introspective songs SZA has ever put out, and we love how train-of-thought this track feels. The soft-sung chorus with higher-pitched vocals really sells this magnificent piece.

9. "Love Galore"

Personally, we think "Love Galore" falls short in SZA's catalogue now that she's released tracks with more maturity, but we still have to respect the fact it's a fan favorite. "Love Galore" is a sultry song off Ctrl where SZA touches on cravings for a past lover, rebirth after a regretful relationship, and putting herself first after a loveless affair. She also enlists the help of Travis Scott for this romp. "Love Galore" marked their second collaboration after the Rodeo track “Ok Alright.”

The song is interesting for the fact that lyrics in the first verse blatantly contradict themselves. At first, SZA asks her lover, "Why you bother me when you don't want me? / Why you bother me when you know you got a woman?" But then later on in the verse, she sings, "Got me lookin' forward to weekends / With you, baby, with you, baby." We believe it shows off the craziness that can happen after going through a painful breakup and getting back into the dating ring. On the song's music production, SZA has remarked on Genius, "I love this beat. I love tropical sounding beats. I always think of Muppets Vacation. Kokomo. 'That’s where we wanna go.' I always get excited when I hear tropical beats."

8. "Nobody Gets Me"

For some reason, "Nobody Gets Me" reminds us of a Mazzy Star song or an early 2000s heartbreak jam, and we mean that in the highest respect. It's a unique track off SOS, and is essentially a break-up ballad encapsulating SZA's feelings through the last moments of her relationship with her ex-fiancé – who was the only person at the time she felt truly understood her.

"Love Galore" may talk about complicated relationships, but "Nobody Gets Me" goes way deeper. You can really feel the pain in SZA's vocals and in the gentle guitar strings that accompany her crooning. The storytelling in the number is also very well done, as SZA takes us through the history of her relationship; from a vacation trip gone wrong to a ballet excursion that ended in a proposal and subsequent touring that made SZA's ex lose loyalty.

SZA told HOT 97: "This particular song in entirety is a story about my ex-fiancé and how we went through all these arguments, and we broke up. And when we first broke up it was like terrible, and I just felt like I was gonna be doomed to be in hell for the rest of my life because nobody understood me the way he did, and like nobody motivated me the way he did. And he was just, you know, this rock in my life that just no longer exists. And it’s just, like, it was insane. The stories that I tell in that song about our arguments, our specific arguments...That’s the theme on that. I feel like a lot of people don’t understand me but it’s okay."

7. "Drew Barrymore"

"Drew Barrymore" is both relaxed and intense, small but deep, warm and anxious. It portrays a seemingly somber, unassured version of SZA, with the bouncy lyrics indicating low self-esteem, especially in a relationship that is so unbalanced. The tracks speak on both dealing with insecurity and questions companionship along with self-worth.

On the song, SZA said, "I wrote ["Drew Barrymore"] about a party that I went to for a boy...I was really excited [and] it turns out he brought a girl to the party...So, basically, I went. I did not ever see him for the entire party [and] I smoked all [my] weed by myself...And [I] had a fantastic time."

The music video was released June 20, 2017 and of course, included a cameo from Drew Barrymore herself. (And yes, both SZA and Drew appear on those Bronx stairs Joaquin Phoenix dances on in Joker.) The song is titled "Drew Barrymore" because it's heavily inspired by 90s movies featuring the actress, namely Never Been Kissed and Poison Ivy. Speaking at an NYC show, SZA said, "I just imagine this being the soundtrack to one of those movies. Cue Freddie Prinze, Jr."

6. "Shirt"

A hit single from SOS that trended like crazy on TikTok, "Shirt" sees SZA take on a darker persona. The murky and dangerous hit touches on religious contemplation, comfort in uncertainty, and a long lost lover. Originally, this song was untitled, but SZA's fans started referring to it as "Shirt." She liked the nickname so much, she kept it.

We love how this track incorporates some subtle trap elements like the booming bass and heavy snare without going overboard. We also think the music video for "Shirt" is one of SZA's best. It features actor Lakeith Stanfield and sees our R&B heroine take down grimy gangsters, and even shoot down her own shadow. (That "NO CTRL" license plate is a nice touch, too!) "Shirt" is definitely a mood, and is made for those who need a boost of badassery.

5. "Good Days"

Dreamy, healing, and even a bit biblical, "Good Days" sees SZA trying to get in touch with the brighter parts of her life. The song touches on the complex and relatable sentiment that rest is necessary for survival, but simultaneously difficult to embrace. "Good Days" is all about trying to stay in a healthy headspace, and how challenging that may be.

With flowy lyrics and soft production from Punch & Top Dawg, "Good Days" will have you thinking about your mental health situation and how it could improve. SZA's vocals on this thing are like a magic spell. London artist Jacob Collier also has writing credits on “Good Days,” and provides additional vocals on the track.

On the song, SZA has said on Genius, "'Good Days' is a mantra, More than than a belief. 'Good Days' is about not being sure...not sure hope is still a thing, not sure better is coming, not sure any of even it matters. It's an acknowledgment were all in the same ugly chaotic beautiful existence. Shared energy. We’re all shattered and stretched beyond our means in all ways. Good days is a reminder we’re all struggling find and feel a connection. To believe every day has the tiniest possibility to be better than the last is what it’s all about."

4. "Broken Clocks"

A classic from Ctrl, "Broken Clocks" is a solid track that was released as the third single from the album. With synthy, blooming, and snare-heavy production, you'll fall deep into the rabbit hole of this timeless jam. Indie artist Daniel Caesar also contributed to the songwriting.

In the song, SZA reminisces about the imbalance between her love and working life, with the epiphany that her romance interfering with her schedule only acted out as foreshadowing of her eventually becoming independent. In an interview with Vulture, SZA revealed her favorite memories of making Ctrl were her times at bassist Carter Lang’s grandmother’s Michigan lake house, and that "Broken Clocks" was one of the songs to come from those sessions.

The unique beat/instrumental of "Broken Clocks" is both a sample of River Tiber’s song “West,” and a mix of ThankGod4Cody’s 808 production. “Broken Clocks” is also considered one of SZA's biggest commercial successes, being certified 4x platinum by the RIAA on August 17, 2022.

3. "Kill Bill"

"Kill Bill" has proved to be the most critically acclaimed song off SOS, and possibly the biggest commercial hit, too. SZA really puts her all into this track with bubbly-but-tough vocals, catchy lyrics, and intricate music production that we can only describe as "so mature." Yes – this song proves SZA has so, so, so matured as an artist. Even though her persona in this song may lack emotional maturity.

"Kill Bill" is short but sweet, and has one of the catchiest choruses we've ever heard. "I might kill my ex, not the best idea / His new girlfriend's next, how'd I get here?" SZA riffs. The title references the iconic Kill Bill film duology directed by Quentin Tarantino, and how the main character of the series, Beatrix Kiddo, sets out to assassinate her own ex.

Ultimately, "Kill Bill" touches on that relatable feeling of getting into violent fantasies when we're angry – particularly about relationships. Of course, SZA isn't actually going to kill her ex. She admits in the chorus that even though she's upset, she still loves him.

2. "20 Something"

This song has touched so many people – most specifically, young adults slogging through their 20s. It's a fun yet messy period of life, and SZA's heart-stirring ballad "20 Something" is an ode to the chaos.

Vocally and emotionally, SZA really bares her soul on this track. She admits that she doesn’t have her sh-- together, she hopes she keeps all her friends, and reveals she doesn't have her love life together, either. "God bless these 20 somethings," she prays. If you're a 20 something yourself listening to this track, it almost feels like she's aiming her prayer right at you.

Carter Lang & The Antydote give a guitar-heavy production that's so gripping, moody, and even cinematic. We could totally see "20 Something" being in the end credits of a movie. "20 Something" is also perfectly placed on Ctrl – saved until the very end of the album. It uses similar instrumentation as the opening track, "Supermodel." We believe this song is modern R&B at its finest, and we're happy SZA has gracefully found her way out of her 20s.

1. "The Weekend"

This song has the same chill-factor and intensity as "20 Something" but tells its story in a brilliant way. This song is about three women – not just two – who are all being played by the same man. However, one of them has decided she doesn't don't care about the mess he's causing. Instead of sending a giant "eff you" to the guy, she's got things under control. She doesn't need to get angry to state his immaturity, she totally knows the game he's playing, and she's just happy to have him on the weekends.

The song serves to empower women above the idea of a man being the center of all of their actions. Sure – this guy is playing with heartstrings, but all three women get a piece of the action, therefore making him more of a toy than a man. In positioning all the women in this one man’s life as being aware of what they want from him, it diffuses his lies to them and makes him look like a fool. "The Weekend" also has an artistic and simple music video directed by none other than Solange. It features SZA in different settings moving to the song.

On the song, SZA told Vulture, "Time-sharing a man is real AF. If we're all being honest there's very few men that are just dating one woman. I think, low-key, the internet makes it so difficult [to be in relationships] because we're taking in so much information. There's always new, new, new, more, more, more. Having one person seems like a restriction, like a limitation...I feel like men kind of do this thing where they don’t wanna tell anyone about [who they're with], because they don't want to lose the opportunity to potentially call you if they needed to...So in this song, I'm opting in. Like, I know you have a bunch of girls, probably. Maybe you're not being honest with me — I just know that you have mad girls — and I still don't care, because I didn't want to be your girlfriend anyway! I'm not internalizing the way that you're acting as a disrespect towards me, it doesn't make me any less because you're not my boyfriend. And like, you're not her boyfriend, and you're not her boyfriend. You're just out here wildin'."

It's this song's complex message about modern hookup culture, chill groove, and SZA's expressive performance that helps put "The Weekend" at #1 on our list. This song – and SZA's other bops – will always keep us satisfied!

Check out our selection of free stations streaming SZA music at

Rather listen on our app? Download the Live365 app on iOS or Android. Ready to start your own station? Contact one of our Product Consultants or visit our website today. Keep up with the latest news by following us on Facebook (Live365 (Official) and Live365 Broadcasting) and Twitter (@Live365 and @Broadcast365)!

Article Image: Close-up of SZA performing at REBEL on August 23, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (The Come Up Show [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons.)

Author image

About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey