sza

I know, I know — Kendrick Lamar pretty much owned the week and damn near the rest of the year with the second half of his “Control” verse sparking not only debate between hip-hop media, fans and more but also becoming such a big deal on Twitter that even the folks at ESPN are weighing in on it and Phil Jackson himself offered K Dot some advice. Meanwhile, the TDE train continues to move along and picks up a siren who’s been itching for a chance to finally break through.

St. Louis singer SZA (pronounced So-ZA) has a sound that fits in right with the TDE atmosphere, a soft voice that can remind many of Jhene Aiko but dance around in the same vibes as Purity Ring lead singer Megan James. It can get jazzy, tiptoe around electronica beats and accomplish plenty without doing much. If JMSN & Daley can carve out a niche lane for low-fi R&B that teeters on emotional purge more than love and affection, so can SZA.

Her two track punch in lieu of K Dot’s victory lap across the world, “Julia” produced by Dave Free & Felix Snow & “Teen Spirit” produced by Canada’s burgeoning producer “it” girl Wondagurl continues the motif that Top Dawg simply can’t lose at this point. And as humble as the STL native is about it, I’m more than certain she’ll hang around Kendrick a lot more and start coming after everybody else in her particular lane too. Download her 7-track S EP here via her Soundcloud page.

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