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Released: 2022

At its core, “Blind” by SZA captures the internal struggle of a strong, contemporary woman wrestling with her self-worth, emotional scars, and the expectations imposed on her by society. The song presents a raw critique of her own shortcomings, her relationships, and the self-destructive patterns in her life that she’s blind to or willfully ignoring. Throughout the song, there’s a grave pleading, a yearning for self-understanding and change.

The opening lines “Niggas want me to get ratchet / Niggas want me to attack it / Put the hood on, now they callin’ me Cassius” lay down the societal expectations for her to behave a certain way, likely referring to aggressive behavior, and the ‘Cassius’ reference could be a nod to the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, suggesting she’s being pressured to fight back. In the line “I ain’t no Julia Stiles, this ain’t no last dance”, SZA cleverly uses a pop culture reference—Julia Stiles in “Save the Last Dance”—to highlight that she isn’t going to give a final performance—a metaphor to placate the expectations of others.

Delving into the chorus, the lines, “All of the things I need living inside of me / I can’t see it / It’s so embarrassing / All of the love I seek living inside of me / I can’t see, I’m blind”, hold the essence of the song. SZA openly admits that she is blind to her own potential and love within herself. She highlights the irony of longing for external validation whilst not acknowledging her own self-worth. This poignant admission hits right at the heart of modern pop’s exploration of mental health, self-awareness and existential angst.

As the song proceeds, “My, my, how the times change / You still talking ’bout babies / And I’m still taking a plan B” presents a stark juxtaposition between the conservative ideal of wanting to start a family versus her choice to live life on her own terms, embodied by references to Plan B, a morning-after pill. The line, “I like when you pull your gun at the red light / I like all that violence, give me dysfunction” is an emblematic expression of her unhealthy habit of being drawn to chaos and instability.

“Blind” is a tour de force of pop introspection. SZA has channeled her reality and inner-demons to produce a captivating, culturally relevant narrative that bravely tackles societal expectations, self-worth, and dysfunctional emotional patterns. It’s a testament to the power of modern pop as a platform for venting personal anxieties while resonating with a broader audience, giving them the language to confront their own emotions and experiences.

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