The apparent conflict between R&B vocalist SZA, Top Dawg Entertainment, and RCA Records continues to play out in public. TDE President Terrence “Punch” Henderson Jr. had something to say about the situation.
“It’s 100% Punch and RCA on this one. I wanted the summer. They wanted more time. [At this point,] I’m just tryna have a good time stress free lol,” wrote SZA earlier this year in response to a fan wondering if her next project would arrive before the end of the summer season.
Punch appeared on a recent episode of Math Hoffa’s My Expert Opinion podcast. The music executive/recording artist responded to SZA’s claims that he is the reason for her sophomore album’s delay.
“You gotta understand the context, and you have to know the person,” said Punch. “You have to know how something was said. If it was lighthearted, if it was serious, like what it was. If she’s responding to somebody and saying, ‘You gotta ask Punch.’ You can take that a gang of different ways based on your disposition.”
Punch also added, “And you only get so many characters when you’re tweeting, and people get a whole story and run with it. What I always like to ask is: What do I gain from not putting the album out?”
Back in 2021, SZA declared, “I really hate my label. So much.” Five years before that, the award-winning singer/songwriter suggested she was ready to quit TDE over her debut album not getting off the shelf at the time.
The Ctrl Album Became A Huge Success For SZA & TDE
SZA’s Ctrl did eventually drop on June 9, 2017, to widespread acclaim. Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, James Fauntleroy, and Isaiah Rashad appeared on the 14-track project as guest features.
Ctrl debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart by earning 60,000 first-week units. Since then, the collection has spent a total of 273 weeks on the album rankings. The RIAA certified Ctrl as 3x-Platinum.
In addition, SZA earned a 6x-Platinum plaque for the Ctrl single “Love Galore” featuring Travis Scott. “The Weekend” surpassed the 5x-Platinum mark as well. The Recording Academy nominated Ctrl for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.