Most of SZA’s just released video for her amusingly titled Ctrl single “Drew Barrymore” does not feature Drew Barrymore. In fact, it’s mostly sleepily blissful imagery (directed by Dave Meyers, who also did Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” video) of the musician singing and wandering around New York in winter with friends. She occasionally stops to sled, party, sing naked in a laundromat, or mime-synchronized-swim while lying down on a wet sidewalk.
The title is a decoy, really, because Barrymore has nothing explicit to do with the content. But then, midway through the video, who should wander casually past SZA, shooting her a sly knowing look? Drew Barrymore!
And then “Drew Barrymore,” once again, ceases to have anything specifically to do with Drew Barrymore. (In fact, within the lyrics of the song itself, the biggest pop cultural nods are towards Narcos and Snoop Dogg.) It’s a slinkily sexy track about insecurity, and the inability, within a romance, to “to accept the party is over.”
Apparently it actually has both nothing and everything to do with Barrymore; at a show presenting the track earlier this year, SZA referenced Never Been Kissed and Poison Ivy, saying “I just imagine this being the soundtrack to one of those movies. Cue Freddie Prinze, Jr.” (Who, incidentally, was not in either of those movies, but may as well have been.) When she debuted it on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Barrymore Instagrammed a video of herself watching it, which SZA then reposted.
Ctrl is out now, via Top Dawg Entertainment. Watch the video: