SZA has revealed that she wanted to be the umpteenth member of OFWGKTA before becoming a member of Top Dawg Entertainment’s roster.
During an interview with Danyel Smith for The New York Times, SZA spoke about her humble beginnings, reflecting on her time as an independent musician.
The singer, née Solána Imani Rowe, 33, admitted that she initially found solace in freestyling over Odd Future instrumentals on YouTube, a group she felt connected to due to their punk energy. “Quiet as it’s kept,” Rowe began. “I wanted to be with Odd Future. I felt more like a Clancy girl.”
Clancy, legally known as Christian Clancy, and his wife Kelly were the management team who famously worked with Odd Future, Tyler the Creator, and Frank Ocean. However, when the SOS singer eventually relocated from New Jersey to Cali, she found refuge in Top Dawg Entertainment, signing with the label in 2013, joining the likes of Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul.
Odd Future also had a successful run during Hip-Hop’s Blog Era, with the collective releasing one studio LP, The OF Tape, Vol. 2, in 2012. The collective then splintered off and launched solo careers for Grammy Award-winning artists Tyler, the Creator, Frank Ocean, Syd, and critically acclaimed rapper Earl Sweatshirt.
SZA recently made history with her sophomore album, SOS. The album, released on Dec. 9, 2022, became the singer’s first No.1 album and broke a litany of records, including accomplishments held by Beyoncé, Adele, Janet Jackson, and Mariah Carey.
Additionally, the LP became the first R&B/hip-hop album by a woman to spend its first seven weeks at No. 1 since Whitney Houston’s 1987 album, Whitney.