SOS
by SZA

Album: SOS (2022)
Charted: 32
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Songfacts®:

  • "SOS" is the opening song and title track of SZA's second album. The soulful and gritty chorus-less cut serves as an introduction to the record's themes. Many of the tracks find SZA angry with the toxic men in her life; here the R&B singer is exhausted by a romance that no longer serves her.
  • The song title doesn't appear in the lyrics, but it opens with the S.O.S. Morse code distress call. The track also begins and ends with SZA crying over her lost relationship. Her tears represent a SOS call for help.
  • SZA wrote "SOS" with Rob Bisel and the track's producer, Jay Versace. Bisel contributed to 20 out of the 23 tracks on SOS. New Jersey-born, Los Angeles-based Versace has also produced tracks for Westside Gunn ("Versace") and Tyler The Creator ("Safari").
  • Gospel musician Gabriel Hardeman also receives a songwriting credit because "SOS" samples the Gabriel Hardeman Delegation's 1976 number "Until I Found the Lord (My Soul Couldn't Rest)."
  • SZA's real name is Solana Rowe, but her friends call her Sos for short, hence the album title. "It's like Solana but like shorter and cuter, I guess," she told Hot 97.
  • The SOS album cover shows SZA perched on the edge of a white diving board with the deep blue sea below her. It harks back to a famous 1997 photo of Princess Diana in a similar pose aboard a yacht during a trip in Portofino, Italy.

    "Originally I was supposed to be on top of a shipping barge, but in the references that I pulled for that, I pulled the Diana reference," SZA explained to Hot 97. "Because I just loved how she isolated she felt, and that was what I wanted to convey the most."
  • SOS debuted atop the Billboard 200, earning SZA her first #1 album. Its arrival at the summit was largely driven by streaming activity; indeed, SOS garnered the biggest streaming week ever for an R&B album.

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