SZA hopped on Twitter to tell her fans that her label, Top Dawg Entertainment, is allegedly preventing her new music from being released.
As a result, fans created #FreeSZA to put heat on the execs at SZA’s label.
Update: August 21, 2020
Not exactly sure what happened between today and yesterday, but SZA is pretty much saying that the entire #FreeSZA campaign is unnecessary because she and her music are not being held hostage. She hopped on Twitter and wrote, “Don’t nobody need to free me. Lmao I’m not held hostage n neither is my music!! Me n Punch be disagreeing…he’s never steered me wrong and I trust God’s timing. I love y’all.”
To be fair, SZA did pull a move similar to this in the past. When she announced that she wanted to quit music in 2016, she cited frustrations with Punch as part of her reasoning…only to say a month later that she and Punch frequently bump heads and that she has “no issues” with her label.
A fan brought up what was on everyone’s mind yesterday and wrote, “Now sister this kinda diff to what you were saying yesterday,” which is one hundred percent valid! SZA had an answer for that though.
“Lmao when u don’t get somewhere by urself u can’t always make ALL the decisions by urself. And das ok. Sometimes u gotta be patient…sometimes no is a blessing…I trust the ppl around me,” she replied. “And by being patient I mean ME !! I gotta learn it *paaatience paaaatience paaatience is a virtue*.”
Label drama or not, can we please get the album?? 😭
Original story: August 20, 2020
If you’re anything like me, you probably logged on to Twitter dot com today to see #FreeSZA trending and got a *lil* worried. The good news is that SZA is in perfectly good health, but the bad news is that she says she’s being stifled by her label. Top Dawg Entertainment, which SZA is currently signed to, is allegedly refusing to release the new music she’s recorded. Mind you, SZA hasn’t dropped any new material since her critically acclaimed album, CTRL, was released…more than three (3) years ago.
On Twitter yesterday, SZA interacted with fans of hers who asked for a status update on her new music. She replied, “At this point y’all gotta ask Punch. I’ve done all I can do.” (To clarify, Punch is Terrence “Punch” Henderson, the president of Top Dawg Entertainment.)
Another fan of SZA’s asked if her relationship with her label is hostile, and SZA replied, “BEEN hostile,” which…yikes.
SZA fans have also directly asked Punch when SZA’s new music will be coming out. One fan shared a screenshot of Punch’s response, in which he simply replied, “Soon.” SZA replied to the fan on Twitter, writing, “This is all he says to me as well. Welcome to my fucking life.”
#freesza look out how they’ve BEEN miss treating @sza it ain’t even just a label thing anymore. It’s the mismanagement of female artist in the music industry. This happens to many female artist like Normani and so forth. Sad 😔 pic.twitter.com/k0DSAVnNyj
— EliTheRonin (@EliShinobi) August 20, 2020
In response to SZA’s request for help, fans created #FreeSZA to pressure Punch and Top Dawg Entertainment to release her new material and put an end to her limbo period.
— SZA UPDATES 🍃 (@CTRLfactor) August 20, 2020
Whole time we been blaming artists for keeping us waiting on their albums or new music, but they are not the problem. Managers are to be blamed.. Punch ain't shit! #freesza #freesza #freesza pic.twitter.com/INPEtsHVcM
— Stera 🇿🇦 (@SteraClemond) August 20, 2020
Wait...you mean to tell me that I have been waiting impatiently for YEARS for SZA to drop music and she’s been trying to, but it’s her managers fault .......... I need all his info cause no #FreeSza pic.twitter.com/yTgimFkc0p
— yikes (@6thegoat) August 20, 2020
Whoever this @iamstillpunch is has not allowed our girl @sza to allow us to be in our feelings man it’s time to start showing them they can’t hold a good woman down she deserves to release any music she likes and at anytime #FreeSza
— Dominique (@niqvibes) August 20, 2020
After the hashtag started gaining major traction, Punch hopped on Twitter and addressed the drama (kinda). “I am a person and you guys are hurting my feelings,” he wrote in a series of tweets. “I’m gonna remember you n****s once the meet and greets pop off again.”
I am a person and you guys are hurting my feelings.
— Punch TDE (@iamstillpunch) August 20, 2020
I’m gonna remember you niggas once the meet and greets pop off again.
— Punch TDE (@iamstillpunch) August 20, 2020
Back in 2016, SZA shed some light on her relationship with Punch in an interview with Complex. “Me and Punch never get along—that’s every day. They call me one of the homies. We’re all different, and that was hard to understand [at first] because they’re tough-love people and hard to read, but I dig it now,” she said, later adding, “I don’t have any issues with my label. My label has been nothing but supportive of everything I’ve wanted to do.”
Reminder: SZA’s comments came a month after she said she was ready to quit music because of delays she experienced with releasing CTRL, citing issues with Punch.
As awful as this drama is, this isn’t the first time an artist like SZA has had music majorly delayed over label’s wishes. In addition to Top Dawg Entertainment, SZA is also signed to RCA Records, which unfortunately has a history of preventing its artists from releasing new material at their will. Tinashe, who was previously signed to RCA, saw the release of her sophomore album delayed for three years as well. Normani is currently signed to Keep Cool/RCA Records and hasn’t dropped a new single since “Motivation” was released in August 2019.
Fingers crossed that this hashtag can speed up the release of SZA’s album, like…soon. 😞
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