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New Groove @ 2: SZA ‘I Hate U’

Written by BT Groove

January 29, 2022

American R&B singer SZA performing at REBEL on August 23, 2017 in Toronto, Canada on Ctrl the Tour.

This is the first New Groove @ 2! What is the “New Groove @ 2”? It’s a chance for our listeners to hear new music on KLEK. The music might be brand new from a brand new artist, or it might be a seasoned artists with a new sound. It could also be a song that has been out for a while, but it’s new to KLEK. Whatever it is, it might be your new groove.

You will also get to know a little bit about the song and the artist with the New Groove, as well as let us at KLEK know how you feel about the song. Is it your new jam? Should we play it more? Or, should we never let it grace your ears ever again? Again, feel free to let us know in the comments below. With all of that being said, let’s get on with the inaugural New Groove @ 2: SZA’s “I Hate U.”

A ‘New-ish’ Song

If you have a SoundCould account, then this song may not be completely new to you. SZA originally released this song “quietly” along with two others on SoundCloud and Apple Music back in August 2021 before it was officially released back in December 2021 across all streaming platforms.

But, since its August’s release, the single has been a huge hit for the St. Louis-native. Apple Music told Billboard Magazine that the song broke their record for the most streamed R&B song by a female artist within its first week.

Tells LaKeith Stanfield to ‘Get Out’ of Her Life in the Video

Shortly after the the song was made more available to other streaming platforms, SZA and her label Top Dawg Entertainment released a video (or “visualizer”) for the song in early January 2022. Just as melancholy as the song itself, the video is gray, dull and lifeless (but in a visually interesting sort of way).

You’ll see a car pulled up on an empty beach, then suddenly a man hops out of the car as he yells into his phone. Without question, the song is a her breaking up with the man and he’s going through all of the emotions you would expect if you were getting dumped.

The man in the video is non-other than actor LaKeith Stanfield, from critically acclaimed movies and shows such as Atlanta, Sorry to Bother You, and–of course–Get Out.

This is not the first video that Stanfield has been in. He’s also appeared in videos for Jay-Z and Run the Jewels, just to name a few.

In the “I Hate U” visualizer, the only time we see SZA is towards the end as a background image on Stanfield’s phone… just before he sends it on a first class flight which eventually ends up on a exclusive deep sea dive (he throws his phone into the ocean.. if you haven’t gotten it.) Although, you’ll be greeted with a title card letting you know that this whole thing is not over yet.

A Little About SZA

SZA, or Solana Rowe, first came on the scene with her EP See SZA Run back in 2012. Since then, she has been dazzling fans and critics alike. Grammy-nominated SZA is a St. Louis-native, as in she was born there. But, if asked, she might tell you that she’s more of a Jersey-girl, since she grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey, according to The Guardian.

Also, her R&B style has been described as a blend of soul and hip-hop, with some jazz, witch house, chillwave, and cloud rap for good measure. SZA has been influenced by several artists across multiple genres, according to Complex, including jazz greats Miles Davis and Billie Holliday, rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers, and hip-hop all-stars Wu Tang Clan and Lil Jon.

Is This Your New Groove?

What say you? Is this your new break-up anthem? How did this song make you feel when you first heard it? Do you want to hear more of this song? Let me know in the comments below. You can also take a listen to it anytime in my new Spotify playlist!

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