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SZA Brings Powerful Self-Affirmations to Lizzo’s ‘Special’ on New Collaboration

Lizzo and SZA are a musical dream team on the newly released remix of “Special” from Lizzo’s 2022 album of the same name. The pair first teased the remix on social media last night with a graphic showing off their Grammy Award wins — Lizzo’s being the most recent, with her scoring a Record of the Year trophy for “About Damn Time” this past Sunday.

“Woke up this morning to somebody judging me/No surprise they judging me, don’t know who I’m ‘posed to be/I’m just acting up, I’m pressed as fuck and never saying sorry/Found it in the end, I can only do it for me,” SZA sings on the new opening verse. “You call sensitive and I call it superpower/You just like empathy ’cause you think it gives you power/All I know is only God can judge me/I don’t hide my heart, I wear it on me.”

The new verse appears to be a callback to how Lizzo was feeling last year. “After “Rumors,” I received a lot of backlash,’” Lizzo told Apple Music about the song when it came out. “I think it was because people hadn’t heard from me since Cuz I Love You, and this was their opportunity to attack me because I was visible, you know? But I turn my pain into music. I turn my pain into profit. I make it work for me. So I went into the studio to write a song for myself that would remind me how special I am.”

Back in 2021, a fan tweeted Lizzo saying: “You want a SZA feature so bad.” SZA stepped in to clarify: “She has about 5 already lol.” About a year later, in November 2022, the singer made an appearance during Lizzo’s tour stop in California to perform “Special.”

“No one like you on this earth and I’m so honored to call you my friend and SISTER love you more and more each day,” SZA wrote to Lizzo on Twitter after the performance. “We don’t deserve u.”


Lizzo penned SZA’s TIME 100 essay last year, recalling their first encounter at a show in Minneapolis. At the time, they took a selfie together in the bathroom, one that Lizzo still sends her now and then as a reminder of how much they have grown as friends in the years since.

“The authenticity in her craft—the way she’s able to tell her story and the way she uses melody—is extraordinary,” Lizzo wrote. “No one can replicate that. When she’s onstage, she’s timeless. She’s someone who’s the real deal, and I think that she’s well on her way to being regarded as one of the greatest songwriters and singers of all time. All she needs is that pen and that voice and her story, and she’s going to be with us for a long time.”

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