Solána Imani Rowe, known as SZA, is an American singer and songwriter. The stage name SZA stands for saviour or sovereign, zig-zag and Allah. The name was inspired by RZA from the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States, on November 8th, 1989. She started making music in the early 2010s, releasing two EPs before signing with Top Dawg Entertainment, a hip-hop record label. In 2014 she released her third EP Z, and the same year she co-wrote “Feeling Myself” with hit rapper Nicki Minaj and hit singer Beyoncé. The song that made her most famous was “Good Days” released on Christmas Day in 2020, which became her first solo top hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2021. She has been nominated 66 times and has won 25 awards. “Kill Bill” is SZA’s second most popular song from her album SOS, with over 300 million streams to date on Spotify.
“Kill Bill” by SZA starts with a strong, eerie detuned synthesizer, which lures listeners. SZA’s smooth vocals and steady beats carry us to the song’s ending. While SZA raps in the verses and pre-choruses, she sings in the chorus, making the infectious melody stand out. “Kill Bill” is built around a midtempo, groovy rhythm and it has a retro, late 1990s–early 2000s sound, influenced by a subgenre of hip hop music called boom bap.
However, some may argue that the SZA’s bold lyrics are responsible for this song’s popularity. Many relate to the anger and frustration that comes with having an ex-partner move on to a new relationship and the underlying sentiments of doing whatever it takes for love. The song title references Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill (2003), in which the main character is shot by her employer and his crew and then seeks revenge. In contrast, Sza’s song replaces the employer with a boyfriend and discusses killing his new girlfriend. While the lyric “I might kill my ex” is the most memorable, the song is filled with hooky lyrics like “I’m so mature/I’m still a fan even though I’m salty/ rather be in hell than alone.” Critics praised “Kill Bill” for its exploration of SZA’s unfiltered, violent emotions.
The duration of the song is also an asset of the song as it conveys just the right amount of material lyric-wise to keep people hooked. Although some listeners might find the dark lyrics don’t match the light sounding beat, they may grow to appreciate the dichotomy between the music and its message.
According to SZA, the creation of “Kill Bill” was “super easy,” and she deemed it a “one take, one night” type of song. While writing a song about committing murder was a risk, the song has become SZA’s biggest success and is being streamed millions of times every day.