There’s been a steady rise in the world of R&B for female artists in the last few years as more and more are crawling out of the woodwork to own their power, and Atlanta’s Summer Walker just might be the hottest one right now. With her sultry undertones, Walker represents the it girl; the dream Drake pines after and the exotic dancer rappers are in awe of. For so long that girl remained faceless, an idea more than anything, but Walker is here to not only give that girl a voice but change her narrative we’ve seen time and time again.
Although she’s only just begun, Walker already has an incredible catalogue of female-positive tracks. With the latest release of her sophomore album Still Over It, we take a journey through Walker’s discography and pick out some of our fave hits.
‘Girls Need Love’ (2018)
“What’s a girl to do when she needs loving too?” Right from the jump, Walker has been trying to send a message. Her 2018 lead single from debut EP Last Day of Summer explores the double standards of women being pro-sex and in touch with their own sexuality, and how due to conventional gender norms, they’re made to feel ashamed for having the same desires as men. Jumping on a remix, we see a refreshing take from Drake as he slides into Walker’s point of view and together the two are at the forefront of flipping traditions on their head.
One of Walker’s personal faves, ‘Body’ explores the way our mind, body and heart all sync when in love and how we often stay in a relationship that’s toxic because of sexual desire, feelings, and other emotional and mental attachments. Walker appears torn between staying in something or letting go, and she brings a real sense of relatability to modern women. “I’ve been in my phone, I’ve got options,” she sings, touching on that universal feeling of having everyone but the one person you want talking to you.
‘Bitter (Narration by Cardi B)’ (2021)
Starting off her recently dropped Still Over It, ‘Bitter’ perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the album and addresses Walker’s experience with harassment online and the other women who were in the picture of her and ex London on da Track. A voicemail from Cardi B at the end giving Walker advice is a real cherry on top and gives a relatable feminist edge. Women aren’t always going to like every single other woman, and that’s okay. It doesn’t revoke your girl power badge or make you any less of a feminist; sometimes we just aren’t going to get along with each other. This track is one of Walker’s best and the bond that’s solidified with her and Cardi B at the end sends a really strong and important message to modern women everywhere.
On the smooth ballad from her debut EP, Walker references her days as a stripper and cites herself as the karma men receive for the way they treat women in relationships. While they fawn over her and slowly fall in love, she reminds them she’s here just to do her job and that all emotions in the moment aren’t ever real on her part. “You can’t keep just doing them girls like that, thinking that nobody finna bite back.”
‘Ex For a Reason (with JT from City Girls)’ (2021)
The tongue-in-cheek latest single from Walker and JT from City Girls essentially puts into words the frustration women get when their partner’s ex is still in the picture. While it’s easy to put the blame on the other woman, it all really comes down to the partner never cutting off that connection in the first place. “Don’t fight over someone who has his attention all over the place,” she says about the track. “Hope y’all learn from my mistakes.”
‘Come Thru (with Usher)’ (2019)
Teaming up with R&B legend Usher (and sampling his 1997 hit ‘You Make Me Wanna’), Walker flips the script of the classic 2 AM “you up?” text by putting herself in control. Drooling over a current love that has her “cutting all ties with them other guys”, Walker admits that this new flame has a significant hold over her and that they make her want to “come through quarter after two.” In line with her other tracks, ‘Come Thru’ celebrates a women’s sexuality rather than shy away from it and Walker puts herself right in the driving seat rather than the other way around.
‘Fun Girl’ (2019)
With just her voice and her electric guitar, ‘Fun Girl’ is one of Walker’s most beautifully vulnerable tracks. Remembering a time where she was told she wasn’t “wifey material”, she questions the way women are expected to behave and look in order to fit the traditional and appealing mould to men. “Is it ‘cause I know what I want just like you?” she asks, bringing attention to the way society handles women who are sexually active, do as they please, and/or are financially comfortable on their own.
‘No Love (with SZA)’ (2021)
Another hit off her latest album, ‘No Love’ finds Walker reflecting on a toxic relationship and admitting that if she were to do it all over again, there’d be no love or feelings involved, “all lust, there will be no lovin’ you.” In a highly anticipated collab, SZA jumps on to reflect the same feelings in her verse and the two reigning monarchs of R&B really do make an iconic pair. “If I did it all again, I’d give like ten percent. You deserve like half of that.”
‘Session 32’ (2018)
In the raw, unedited track that just falls short of 2 minutes, Walker gets personal and confronts an ex-boyfriend who she believes doesn’t know what love is. “You don’t know what love is if you can’t put up a fight”, she states, referencing that while the good parts of a relationship are important, the necessary conflicts and challenges are too. But like anyone who’s been at the same crossroad of head and heart, Walker just can’t seem to let her flame disappear for good.
‘White Tee ft. NO1-NOAH’ (2020)
A catchy laid-back club hit, ‘White Tee’ finds the traditional blueprint of R&B and hip-hop tracks completely rewritten. Where we usually find the female artist longing for love and affection and the guest male star jumping on for a verse about lust and desire, Walker here is that guest verse. As NO1-NOAH covers the track with a metaphor of treating one like a white t-shirt and not messing them up, Walker comes in with the complete opposite approach, “mess up your white tee, I’ll do you dirty.”
Summer Walker’s sophomore album ‘Still Over It’ is available to stream on all platforms now.