The Meaning Behind Drake and SZA’s “Slime You Out”
For the fourth time since 2021, Drake season is upon us. Preparing to release his eighth solo studio album For All The Dogs on October 6, the Toronto hip-hop icon has pretty much checked off all the boxes necessary for a full-fledged album rollout. However, after revealing (then changing) the release date, the title, a few expected feature guests, and the cover art, Drake’s execution of For All The Dogs‘ lead single led to a bit of controversy, but also saw a collaboration many fans had been yearning for for years.
It all began on September 11 in Austin, Texas, when Drake revealed at his It’s All A Blur Tour stop that he would be putting out a new single in the near future. Then on Wednesday (September 13), he stuck to his word, uploading the presumed cover art for “Slime You Out” featuring SZA to Instagram, which used an image of Halle Berry doused in green slime from the 2012 Kids Choice Awards.
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Drake would finally put the song out at noon ET on Friday (September 15). With production from surging trap-rap producer BNYX along with Drake’s longtime collaborator Noah “40” Shebib, the instrumental for “Slime You Out” served as a skeletal canvas for both artists on the song to splatter their angsty, yet luscious vocals.
Sandwiched by Drake’s opening verse about leveraging his relationship with a woman to his advantage and his closing verse where he dissects the mood swings she goes through in the course of a calendar year, SZA’s harmonious middle section of the song gives the revenge-seeking perspective of a lady dealing with a man like Drake.
Damn, these n***s got me so twisted
How the fuck you so real, but play bitch on my line?
I can feel what you’re spinnin’
Got too much pride to let no burnt n***a slime me out
Pull up, go write about
My night, got time, let’s discuss all those lies about
Frontin’ out here like you diggin’ me out
And I ain’t even cummin’, I’m in and out
And you ain’t ’bout the shit you rappin’ about
In “Slime You Out”‘s first weekend, it was able rack up over 8.5 million streams on Spotify, as it was Drake’s first ever collaboration with SZA. In fact, the only other time the two had ever been linked musically was when Drake rapped the lyric Yeah, said she wanna fuck to some SZA, wait / ‘Cause I used to date SZA back in ’08 on “Mr. Right Now,” his 2020 collaboration with 21 Savage and Metro Boomin.
After hearing the song, and seeing fans’ reactions to learning she and Drake used to date, SZA decided to clear the air about their prior fling.
“So It was actually 2009 lol,” she wrote in a pair of tweets. “… in this case a year of poetic rap license mattered lol. I think he jus innocently rhymed 08 [with] wait. Anybody who really knows me and was around during this time can confirm… it’s all love all peace. I just didn’t want anybody thinking anything underage or creepy was happening. Completely innocent. Lifetimes ago.”
However, this was not the only storyline regarding “Slime You Out.” In the days following the song’s release, the aforementioned Halle Berry had a few qualms about Drake’s decision to use the slime-filled photo of her. Though he did not even end up using the initial cover art for the song’s eventual release, instead opting to go with the For All The Dogs cover his son drew, Drake still seemed to have mucked up his friendship with Berry by using her to promote the track.
In an Instagram post following “Slime You Out,” Berry co-signed a message that read: “Sometimes you have to be the bigger guy… Even if you’re a woman!” Then, in the comments of that post, she clarified her concern with multiple replies, even noting that Drake asked for her permission and she did not give it to him.
“[He] didn’t get my permission,” she told one user. “That’s not cool I thought better of him!”
“Hence my post today,” she said to another. “When people you admire disappoint you, you have to be the bigger person and move on.”
“Cuz he asked me and I said NO that’s why,” she added. “Why ask if you intend to do what you want to do! That was the f*uck you to me. Not cool You get it?”
Despite Berry’s anger, both Drake and SZA still have the original artwork up on their Instagram pages.