SZA – “20 Something” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

In SZA’s “20 Something,” the essence of young adulthood is captured with all its confusions, longings, fears, and dreams. The song touches on the struggles of navigating relationships, self-worth, and identity. It’s an ode to the vulnerable years of one’s twenties – a time of search, change, and hoping for the best. SZA pens a heartfelt anthem for everyone in their twenties, a decade marked by challenges but, equally, the sheer will to survive them.

Love a bit of soul-searching and raw emotion in your music? Dive deep into SZA’s lyrical exploration of the rollercoaster called ‘the twenties.’

“20 Something” Lyrics Meaning

Opening lines “How you ain’t say you was movin’ forward? Honesty hurts when you’re gettin’ older,” immediately present a dialogue, possibly a relationship where communication has broken down. The idea of growing older and facing harsh realities sets the tone.

“I gotta say I’ll miss the way you need me, yeah,” evokes feelings of nostalgia and the complexities of being wanted and needed. These lines hint at the ups and downs of relationships in one’s twenties.

The chorus, “20 something, all alone still…That’s me, Ms. 20 Something,” is the crux. It’s about feeling isolated, still finding oneself, and the ever-present fear. Running from love and confronting fear showcases the internal battles faced.

The repetition of “Stuck in them 20 somethings” underlines the seeming inescapability of these years. But she doesn’t just lament; there’s hope too. “Good luck on them 20 somethings” is a message to her peers. Then, the prayerful “God bless these 20 somethings” is both a blessing and a plea for protection during these turbulent times.

The profound lines, “Hopin’ my 20 somethings won’t end. Hopin’ to keep the rest of my friends. Prayin’ the 20 somethings don’t kill me,” shed light on the fragility of life and the very real challenges and threats that young adults face, including mental health struggles.

“Weird, took us so long to separate… Waves crashing fast, I try,” delve into a relationship’s end, emphasizing the turmoil of change, like turbulent waves, but also the inevitable need for growth and moving forward.

Towards the end, SZA ties in the album’s title, “CTRL,” hinting at the desire for control in a life phase that often feels uncontrollable.

The Story Behind “20 Something”

SZA’s journey as an artist has been marked by introspection and raw vulnerability. The album “CTRL” itself is a manifestation of her grappling with control in different facets of her life, and “20 Something” fits right into this theme.

At the time of writing this song, SZA was navigating her own twenties – a time notoriously challenging for many. The song comes from a place of lived experience, touching upon themes from personal relationships to broader existential fears.

SZA, with her incredible ability to turn personal experiences into universal truths, crafts a song that many can resonate with. The vulnerabilities of one’s twenties are not unique to any one person but are a collective experience of growth, loss, discovery, and resilience.

Her state of mind, evident from the lyrics, was one of reflection, hope, and acceptance of the uncertainties of this tumultuous decade. The inclusion of the heartfelt conversation at the end of the track adds a personal touch, grounding the song in reality and the lessons learned from lived experiences.

In essence, “20 Something” is SZA’s love letter to a decade of life, filled with tumult, triumphs, tears, and tenacity.