The Long History Behind SZA and Drake's New Single 'Slime You Out'

Drake; SZA Credit - Prince Williams—Wireimage/Getty Images (2)

Drake loves to make use of a surprise release and the latest single off his upcoming album For All The Dogs, “Slime You Out,” featuring SZA, is no different. The collaboration shocked fans when it was announced late Wednesday, given the long history between the two stars.

For years, SZA and Drake’s careers have run parallel to each other, and “Slime You Out,” which hit streaming services on Friday, marks their first collaboration together. It also seems to mark the end of a years-long back-and-forth between them. In 2020, as a featured artist on 21 Savage’s “Mr. Right Now,” the Toronto rapper said he and SZA dated in 2008. SZA later confirmed that they had briefly been a pair, in a 2020 post on X, but clarified it was “actually 2009” when they dated and suggested he might have just “innocently rhymed ‘08 [with] wait.”

Now, the two seem to have put their past behind them by releasing a moody R&B tune about toxic exes. The song's title, “Slime You Out,” refers to the action of using someone for sex, and across the song, the two take turns talking about how an ex-lover wronged them. The cover art for the single is a photo of Halle Berry at the 2012 Kids Choice Awards, which Drake makes a reference to in the song, rapping: “I’m slimin’ you for them kid choices you made.” His verse mentions being with a woman who is not good for him, and then hands the mic over to his ex and says, “I'ma fall back and let SZA talk her sh-t for a minute.” She gets a moment to show off her command as a rapper, “goin’ on like it’s sawed-off”—referencing a sawed-off shotgun—calling out her ex’s lies and bad sex.

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Intuitive listeners and fans may have caught some subliminal messages in SZA and Drake’s lyrics over the years across different tracks that implied they were an item, though it was not confirmed until 2020. The earliest example of their call-and-response lyrical game is to each of their songs, named “Child’s Play.” SZA’s song came out in 2014 as a collaboration with Chance the Rapper on her EP Z, and Drake has a song on his 2016 album, Views, calling out an ex for being childish.

The lyrics in SZA’s “Normal Girl” from her 2017 album CTRL include an almost identical line that is also on Drake’s “Controlla.” They both sing, “You like it when I get aggressive.” The similarities don’t end there. In 2016, Drake collaborated with fellow Canadian rapper PARTYNEXTDOOR on a song called “Come and See Me,” and on the deluxe version of CTRL, SZA officially released a cover of the song called “2 AM.” Recently, the two had other similar song titles. On SZA’s 2023 album, SOS, there’s a track called “Seek and Destroy,” and Drake released a song called “Search & Rescue.” The lyrics imply a teasing back and forth—now there's an official collaboration.

In December 2022, SZA had only nice things to say about Drake in an interview with Audacy. She said that he’s never said anything negative about her and that she thinks very highly of him, noting that they’ve “always been cool.”

Write to Moises Mendez II at