SZA is one of the most acclaimed and influential artists of her generation, known for her soulful and eclectic blend of R&B, pop, hip-hop, and alternative music. Her second studio album, SOS (2022), was a highly anticipated follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut, Ctrl (2017), which established her as a major figure in contemporary music and culture. SOS showcased SZA’s versatility and growth as a singer-songwriter, exploring themes such as love, identity, spirituality, and self-empowerment.
One of the standout tracks from SOS is Snooze, a song that SZA wrote with producers Babyface, the Rascals (Leon Thomas III and Khristopher Riddick-Tynes), and BLK. The song was released as the sixth single from the album on April 25, 2023, and received positive reviews from critics and fans alike.
Snooze is a smooth and sultry R&B ballad that showcases SZA’s vocal range and emotional delivery, as well as her poetic and confessional lyrics. The song is about SZA’s relationship with a lover and how deep are love is, so deep she’d risk everything for him despite the dangers and consequences.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into the meaning and symbolism of Snooze lyrics by SZA, analysing the song’s structure, themes, imagery, and references. We will also explore how Snooze fits into the overall narrative and concept of SOS, and what it reveals about SZA’s artistic vision and personal journey.
How SZA Expresses Her Love and Loyalty in Snooze Lyrics
Snooze has a simple but effective song structure that consists of an intro, two verses, two choruses, a bridge, and an outro. The intro sets the tone for the song with a vocal sample of a woman singing “Ooh I think I know“, followed by SZA repeating the same phrase. This creates a sense of anticipation and curiosity about what SZA knows or feels about her lover.
I’ll touch that fire for you / I do that three, four times again, I testify for you / I told that lie, I’d kill that bitch / I do what all of them around you scared to do, I’m not / Long as you juggin’ out here for me, I got it
Mobbin’, schemin’, lootin’, hide your bodies / Long as you dreamin’ ’bout me, ain’t no problem / I don’t got nobody, just with you right now
Tell the truth, I look better under you
I can’t lose when I’m with you / How can I snooze and miss the moment?
You just too important / Nobody do body like you do
I can’t lose when I’m with you / How can I snooze and miss the moment?
You just too important / Nobody do body like you do, you do
In a droptop ride with you, I feel like Scarface (Scarface) / Like that white bitch with the bob, I’ll be your main one (Your main one) / Lеt’s take this argument back up to my place (My placе) / Sex remind you I’m nonviolent, I’m your day one (Day one) / We ain’t have shit yet, it was magic, yeah
Smash and grab shit, yeah / Nasty habits take a hold when you not here
Ain’t a home when you not here / Hard to grow when you not here, I’m sayin’
The verses describe SZA’s devotion and loyalty to her lover, as well as the challenges and conflicts they face in their relationship. The choruses express SZA’s fear of losing her lover or missing out on their moments together, as well as her admiration for his body and skills. The bridge shows SZA’s frustration and vulnerability when her lover lies to her or threatens to leave her, but also her determination to be his everything.
The outro ends the song with SZA repeating “I think I know“, suggesting that she has come to a realisation or acceptance of their situation.
One of the main themes of Snooze is that love is a dangerous game. SZA portrays her lover as someone who is involved in illegal activities such as robbing, scheming, looting, and hiding bodies. She compares their relationship to a fire that she is willing to touch for him or a droptop ride with him that makes her feel like Scarface. She also implies that he is unfaithful or dishonest to her at times, but she still lies or kills for him. She acknowledges that their lifestyle could lead to their death or downfall, but she is too attached and addicted to him to let go.
Another theme of Snooze is love as a source of empowerment. SZA sings that she can’t lose when she is with him because he makes her feel important and special. She also praises his body and skills, saying that nobody can do it like he does. She expresses that he is her main one, her day one, and everything. She also suggests that their sexual life is passionate and intense, as it reminds him that she is nonviolent and loyal to him.
A third theme of Snooze is love as a struggle for balance. SZA shows that she has conflicting emotions and thoughts about her lover and their relationship. On one hand, she loves him deeply and wants to be with him forever. On the other hand, she knows that he hurts her sometimes and puts them both in danger. She also questions his feelings for her and wonders if he will leave her or cheat on her. She tries to find a middle ground between being his ride-or-die partner and being his equal partner.
The Symbolism and References in Snooze Lyrics
Snooze uses various images and symbols to convey its meaning and mood. Some of the most notable ones are:
- Fire: Fire represents both the passion and the peril of SZA’s relationship with her lover. It symbolises both the potential for rebirth or destruction as well as the desire and attraction they share. Fire is also associated with love and passion in popular culture as well as in classical literature such as Shakespeare’s plays.
- Droptop: A droptop is a slang term for a convertible car that has a roof that can be folded down or removed. SZA compares riding with her lover in a droptop to feeling like Scarface, a reference to the 1983 crime film starring Al Pacino as a Cuban refugee who becomes a powerful drug lord in Miami. The film is known for its violent and tragic scenes, as well as its iconic line, “Say hello to my little friend!” SZA uses this image to show how she and her lover live on the edge, enjoying the thrill and danger of their lifestyle.
- Scarface: Scarface is also the name of an American rapper who rose to fame in the 1990s as a member of the hip-hop group Geto Boys. He is considered one of the pioneers of Southern rap and gangsta rap and has influenced many artists, including SZA. Scarface is known for his gritty and realistic lyrics that depict the harsh realities of life in the ghetto, such as poverty, violence, drugs, and racism. He has also collaborated with other artists such as Nas, Jay-Z, Tupac Shakur, and Beyoncé. SZA may have chosen this name to pay homage to one of her musical influences as well as to draw a parallel between her lover’s criminal activities and Scarface’s rap persona.
- White bitch with the bob: This is a reference to Michelle Pfeiffer’s character Elvira Hancock in the film Scarface. She is the wife of Frank Lopez, a drug lord who hires Tony Montana (Scarface) as his right-hand man. Tony falls in love with Elvira and eventually kills Frank to take over his empire and marry her. However, their relationship deteriorates due to Tony’s paranoia, violence, and cocaine addiction. Elvira leaves him after he insults her in front of his guests at a restaurant. She is known for her blonde bob haircut and glamorous outfits. SZA compares herself to Elvira to show how she is loyal to her lover even when he mistreats her or puts her in danger.
- Main one: This is a slang term for someone’s primary partner or spouse, as opposed to their side piece or mistress. SZA claims that she is her lover’s main one, meaning that she is his most important and faithful partner. She also uses this term to contrast herself with other women who may be interested in or involved with him.
- Day one: This is another slang term for someone’s closest friend or ally, who has been with them since the beginning of their journey or career. SZA says that she is her lover’s day one, meaning that she has been with him through thick and thin and has supported him in his endeavours.
- Nonviolent: This is an ironic word choice, given that SZA’s lover is involved in violent crimes and activities. She may use this word to show how she is different from him or how she tries to calm him down or pacify him with sex. She may also use this word sarcastically, implying that she is not afraid of violence or confrontation.
Snooze contains several references to other songs, artists, or cultural phenomena. Some of the most notable ones are:
- SOS: This is the title of SZA’s second studio album, which stands for “Save Our Souls”. It is also a common distress signal used in Morse code (· · · – – – · · ·). SZA may have chosen this title to reflect her personal struggles and challenges during the making of the album, as well as her desire for help or salvation.
- Ctrl: This is the title of SZA’s debut studio album, which stands for Control. It is also a key on a computer keyboard that allows users to perform various functions or commands. SZA may have chosen this title to reflect her quest for autonomy and agency over her life and career.
- Broken Clocks: This is the title of one of SZA’s songs from Ctrl, which features a vocal sample from West Coast hip-hop group Rhythm & Sound’s song Smile. The song is about SZA’s relationship with an ex-boyfriend who still haunts her memories and dreams. She sings that “all I got are these broken clocks” that don’t tell the time, meaning that she is stuck in the past and can’t move on. She also sings that she “can’t lose” when she is with him, meaning that he makes her feel alive and happy.
- Good Days: This is the title of another one of SZA’s songs from SOS, which was released as the second single from the album on December 25, 2020. The song is about SZA’s optimism and hope for the future as she tries to overcome her depression and anxiety. She sings that she wants to “believe in good days“, and that she is “way too alone to be this hard on myself“. The song also features a vocal sample from Jacob Collier’s song Feel, which adds to the soothing and uplifting vibe of the track.
- Hit Different: This is the title of yet another one of SZA’s songs from SOS, which was released as the lead single from the album on September 4, 2020. The song features Ty Dolla $ign and production by The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo). The song is about SZA’s complicated feelings for an ex-lover who still affects her emotionally and physically. She sings that he “hit different” when he is with someone else, meaning that she feels jealous and hurt by his actions. She also sings that she is “scared of us“, meaning that she is afraid of their potential reconciliation or breakup.
- West: This is the title of a song by Canadian singer-songwriter River Tiber, which features vocals by Daniel Caesar. The song was released on May 24, 2016, as the lead single from River Tiber’s debut album Indigo. The song is about River Tiber’s love for a girl who lives on the west coast of Canada while he lives on the east coast. He sings that he wants to “fly west” to be with her and that he misses her “every day“. The song also contains a vocal sample from Rhythm & Sound’s song Smile, which adds to the melancholic and dreamy atmosphere of the track. SZA samples River Tiber’s vocals from this song in her song Broken Clocks, creating a connection between the two songs’ themes of longing and distance.
How Snooze Fits into SOS Album Concept
Snooze is a song that showcases SZA’s talent and creativity as an artist, as well as her honesty and vulnerability as a person. The song reveals her complex and conflicted emotions about her lover and their relationship, as well as her self-awareness and self-criticism. The song also demonstrates her musical influences and inspirations as well as her ability to craft catchy melodies and clever lyrics. The song is a testament to SZA’s growth and evolution since her debut album Ctrl, as well as her contribution to the contemporary R&B genre.
The song also fits into the overall narrative and concept of SOS, which is SZA’s exploration of her identity and spirituality in relation to herself, others, and the world. SOS stands for Save Our Souls, which implies that SZA is seeking help or salvation from her struggles and challenges. The album also deals with themes such as love, sex, faith, doubt, fear, hope, and empowerment. The album reflects SZA’s journey and experiences, as well as her artistic vision and expression.
Snooze lyrics by SZA are a rich source of meaning and symbolism, as they convey a story of love, risk, and sacrifice. The song invites listeners to empathise with SZA’s situation and emotions, as well as to appreciate her musical skills and style. The song is a captivating and compelling piece of art that deserves attention and recognition.