Earlier this month, SZA returned to the fold with her sophomore studio LP, SOS. Yesterday (Dec. 19), it was confirmed that said body of work will land at the top of the Billboard 200, making it the TDE talent’s first No. 1 of her career.
Over the past week, SOS earned 318,000 album-equivalent units, becoming the fifth highest debut this year after Taylor Swift’s Midnights, Harry Styles’ Harry’s House, Drake and 21 Savage’s Her Loss, and Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE. It also amassed more than 400 million official streams, the biggest ever for an R&B album and the second biggest for an album by a female artist.
SOS contains 23 tracks and additional features from Don Toliver, Phoebe Bridgers, Travis Scott, and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Production on the album was provided by the likes of Jay Versace, DJ Dahi, Babyface, The Rascals, Benny Blanco, Shellback, and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. In a recent interview with HOT 97, the “Kill Bill” singer explained the meaning behind the title:
“Well I guess, like, of course it’s like ‘Save Our Souls’ and then like ‘Save Our Ship,’ but it’s also, you know, SZA stands in the Supreme Alphabet — the S is like self-savior. And then people call me Sos. My friends call me Sos for short. And it’s like Solana but just shorter and cuter, I guess. But yeah, so, we were like, ‘We don’t know what nickname we’re gonna have to make for you after this’ cause I thought everyone’s gonna call me Sos and I’m gonna be so confused. I can’t differentiate who really knows me and what’s actually happening.”
Prior to SOS, SZA liberated the critically acclaimed Ctrl in 2017, a 14-song effort with assists from Kendrick Lamar, Isaiah Rashad, James Fauntleroy, and more. That release peaked at No. 3 on the aforementioned chart.