Last year, R&B songstress Summer Walker was virtually unknown; running a home cleaning business by day, dancing to pay bills by night. Less than two years later, the Atlanta born singer’s debut album Over It catapults her to the forefront of the music industry selling 134K album copies and earning the largest streaming week for an R&B album by a female artist. In 2018, Walker climbed the charts with her unapologetic single “Girls Need Love” before getting a co-sign by rap mega star Drake the following year. Before you knew it, the self-described introvert was virtually unavoidable with streams of transparent music that touched both the popular just as it impacted the culture. Last week, the phenomenon reached new heights when the singer cancelled 20 of the 29 dates on her supporting First and Last Tour due to “social anxiety”. Despite the controversy Walker still shines through with a vulnerable and sultry, yet unforgiving and raw debut album that puts her in the ranks of heavy hits like Ari Lennox, H.E.R. and SZA. How did this singer shit gone the music industry with transcending R&B?
Over It is 18-track project that smoothly takes us through a slew of emotions dealing with relationships, love and womanhood. The project appropriately opens up with a self-titled track that sets the pace. “Am I really that much to handle / Breakin’ these niggas down like enamel / Yet I’m ready to blow you out like a candle / Can I really just blow you out like a candle,” Walker croons. After sampling 702 on “Body,” Summer teams up with Bryson Tiller on the lead single and Destiny’s Child sampling single “Playing Games”. Over a smooth and relate able “Drunk Dialing,” Walker delivers complex R&B sounds and nostalgia with the “U Make Me” sampling “Come Thru” featuring Usher. After flexing her vocals on an uplifting ballad titled “Potential,” things are stripped down on the acoustic cut “Fun Girl”. The next trio of “fillers,” “Tonight,” “Me,” and “Like It,” featuring 6lack all continue to bring us into the Summer’s sultry word of love and war. Before collaborating with label mate A Boogie on a savage single titled “Stretch You Out,” PND is tapped in for another smooth (yet boring) track titled “Just Might”. After a couple more fillers titled “Off of You” and “Anne Mae,” Walker captivates alongside Jhene Aiko on another album stand out titled “I’ll Kill You”. After delivering vulnerability and truth on “Nobody Else,” the album appropriately closes with the EP version of “Playing Games” and “Girls Need Love,” featuring Drake.
There’s something about the sultry-smooth sounds that drip unforgivable sweet and savagery vulnerabilities throughout Over It -a contrast that has proven successful. Influenced by heavy hitters like Amy Winehouse, Marvin Gaye and Erykah Badu, Summer Walker has a voice that emulates a combination of sounds that highlight soulful and sensual croons (ie “Fun Girl”) and smooth yet controlled R&B riffs (ie. “Potential”). Alongside the production of superstar boyfriend London on da Track, Over It comes in perfect timing among the return of R&B to the mainstream while incorporating some hard-hitting productions that match the popular trap energies. The edgy yet transparent world of Summer Walker is enough to capture the social likes and woes of any woman while intriguing men with transparencies alike. This combination of artistry and overall talent has transcended R&B in the perfect moment proving successful with both the culture and the mainstream.
Yeah, Summer Walker’s First and Last Tour may have been a disaster due to the social anxieties of this introverted R&B songstress but that vulnerability and transparency is what captivated us from the beginning! As Walker told Billboard, “I would be more at peace if I could just record music and slide it under the door.” Honestly, Over It is a true testament to how that may work! Over the weekend, the songstress took home the Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist! Regardless of what happens next, Summer Walker may be “over It” but the music industry, fans and critics are certainly not! Check out Summer Walker and sound off in the comments below!
Summer Walker – Over It
Summer Walker – “Playing Games” featuring Bryson Tiller
Summer Walker – “Stretch You Out” featuring A Boogie wit da Hoodie