Yesterday, I was blessed enough to be able to attend my great-grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration. For those of you who don’t know, my grandmother and I are very close even though we’re about 70 years apart. Although I didn’t get to grow up around her, she’s had a very large impact on my life for the past six years and I love her very very much. One interesting thing about my family is that a lot of the women are born in July. Obviously, I missed that train by a little over two weeks but from my grandmas to my mom to my sister and cousins, my family is full of July babies so this month is kinda of special to us.
Now, when I first heard SZA’s “Garden (Say It Like Dat), of course, I thought of my boyfriend but as I listened to it more and more, I relate it to the older women in my life who have helped mold me into who I am today. Further proving that SZA and I are one and the same, she featured her mother in the music video for this song.
“Need you for the old me
Need you for my sanity
Need you to remind me where I come from
Can you remind me of my gravity?
Ground me when I’m tumblin’, spiralin’, plummetin’ down to Earth
You keep me down to Earth
Call me on my bullshit
Lie to me and say my booty gettin’ bigger even if it ain’t
Love me even if it rain
Love me even if it pain you
I know I be difficult
You know I be difficult”
The very first verse reminds me of my mom and my late grandmother who passed when I was 16. My gram was notorious for calling people out on their bullshit and dragging them back down to Earth. My grandmother was a true diva (& glam-ma) and she still inspires me to this day. She always encouraged me to do my best (not try my best) and perform without giving a fuck about what anyone else had to say (including my parents lol). She instilled so many positive things in me that I will never let go and try to instill in my sisters and daughters.
As for my mother, the entire verse speaks to our relationship. My mom is definitely my rock, I love talking to her every time I get the chance to and I truly do need her for my sanity and to remind me of where I come from. She, like Gram, is great at calling me on my bullshit when need be and keeping me down to Earth. My mom is really one of my homegirls at times (trust me, I know where the line is and not to cross it) and will definitely tell me that my booty is getting bigger. Even if it actually isn’t. Of course we’ll have our problems because we’re very similar in personality (Leo gang!) but also because we’re pretty close in age, which can cause our heads to butt pretty often.
As for the second verse of “Garden (Say It Like Dat),” it’s pretty clear that the song is more focused towards SZA’s relationships so I can’t even try to relate that to my relationships with the women in my family. I feel as though the most significant part of this song that relates it to my angels is the outro. SZA’s grandmother’s advice is classic and I’m sure I’ve heard it from my great-grandma, my gram, and my mother. It’s truly timeless advice and reminds me of how my great-grandma will always give me snippets of wisdom every time I see her, whether I asked for it or not. It’s part of what makes her so lovable honestly because I know that at some point whatever she’s telling me will come in handy, even if it’ll be years from now.
“You don’t got shit to say to me
I ain’t got shit to say to you
And that’s the truth
And step on
Also you black heffa, you stand your ground
‘Cause I feel the same way
If you don’t like me, you don’t have to fool with me
You don’t have to talk about me or treat me mean
I don’t have to treat you mean
I just stay out of your way
That’s the way you work that one”
Shoutout to SZA for this unintentional anthem but more importantly, shout out to Nadine, Thelma, and Candace. I love you!