Finishing off our series, see previous posts here, we continue to explore how SZA further presents the usage of sexuality, self-love, and control in her lyrics. Our final song analysis will be on the album's fifth song and popular hit, “The Weekend.”
SZA guides us through her relationship with a man, whom she only sees on weekends, and knowingly shares with other women. For her, it’s about taking her power back because not only does she know, but she’s playing him back because she’s using him too. The song empowers the women because all of them aren’t seeing the man as the center of their lives. The man thinks he’s fooling all these women, but the reality is he’s the fool because he’s being used for sex. They get what they want from him and that’s it.
The song starts off with SZA saying “you say you got a girl . . . yeah, how you want me? How you want me when you got a girl?” It’s a condescending tone, one she uses to mock this man who is attempting to lie to her by telling her he wants to be with her exclusively, despite the other women he’s seeing. But she relents saying that although she knows what he’s doing is reckless—not to mention selfish— he takes advantage of the situation because he’s “knowin’ I’m desperate.”
But SZA’s perspective as the one woman in the know is that this situation is chaos saying “gettin’ all in your love, fallin’ all over love” but agrees to “do it ‘til it hurts less.” This concept of numbing herself until she can’t feel the pain is a common theme in SZA’s songs, as mentioned in the previous posts. The woman takes control of the situation saying she doesn’t care which girl he was with last, saying “long as you’re here by 10:30, no later than” to drop his drawers and “give me what I want.” She sees him only as a way to get off sexually. This woman takes back the power of the situation by not letting his selfishness affect her decision to consensually seek him out to gratify her sexual needs.
She starts off the chorus with the iconic “my man is my man, is her man, heard it’s her man, too.”She outlines the schedule she has versus the one he has with his other interests, ironically they get the week shift, she the weekend shift, “Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday” pointing out how she only “keep him satisfied through the weekend.” This is humorous because she says “you like 9 to 5, I’m the weekend,” to say the other women get to deal with him like a chore and she gets to have more fun. Weekends tend to be the times when people let loose and have a good time, juxtaposing the hard struggle of the 9 to 5 day job.
By taking control in the situationship, this woman that SZA is portraying is not letting this man’s selfish acts—of fooling around with numerous women—get in her way of trying to express herself sexually and give herself a bit of release. That’s the part of the control, not letting him think he’s anything more than just a lay, which takes away his control in thinking that he’s got all these women under his thumb.