Summer Marjani Walker gifted us with an R&B album just in time for cuffing season. On Oct. 4, the 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia released her official 18-track studio debut album “Over It.” According to The Fader, “Over It” is the most streamed album by a woman artist of all time, surpassing even Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.”
Before breaking records, Walker ran a cleaning business for commercial residences and homes, providing laundry and closet organization services. Her first notable project as an artist dropped in Oct. 2018, “Last Day of Summer,” featuring now-famous singles like “CPR” and “Girls Need Love.” The latter song was remixed by Drake in Feb. 2019 — his seductive lyrics mirroring Walker’s message that girls need and deserve sexual satisfaction. For those who still have not heard of Summer Walker, I suggest tuning in.
Shifting from adoration to anger, the album tells the frustratingly familiar tale of holding out for someone who does not always treat you right. Although this behavior should in no way be glorified, the back-and-forth she has with herself is certainly relatable. Although “Over It” feels much more refined than Walkers original works – Session 36 for all the ‘day one’ fans – she maintains that realness that drew people to her in the first place.
The title track, “Over It,” opens the album with “Am I really that much to handle?” Anybody getting the cold shoulder after putting effort in a relationship should ask themselves this question. Coming to terms with the idea that your personality, passions and energy—what makes you who you are — is not compatible with the person you have feelings for can be disappointing.
Her tone quickly changes in the following song “Body,” one of my personal favorites on the album. Contrasting with the previous song, Walker experiences a lapse of judgment. Despite knowing better, she yearns with her heart, mind and body for the love of someone who isn’t showing her the attention she feels she deserves.
She reverts back to a fed-up attitude in “Playing Games (Extended Version)” featuring Louisville, KY native Bryson Tiller. For the chorus, Walker spins the famous Beyoncé song “Say My Name” asking her potential lover “So won’t you say my name, say my name?” In her eyes, she doesn’t ask for much — “Drape me in Gucci? No.” Relationships, however, often come with a mismatch in expectations. Tillers’ verse provides a response reassuring Walker that he’s serious about her.
Skipping forward, the seventh song “Fun Girl” breaks away from the signature Atlanta-style beats to a smooth, sleepy track where Walker’s raw voice is laid over her electric guitar. She expresses confusion over being told she is not wifey material, asking what makes her un-cuffable: “Is it ‘cause I know what I want just like you / ‘Cause I make my own money and my own moves? / Love who I want an fuck who I choose to / Don’t take no shit and won’t be used.” Anyone who has been restricted to the hook-up zone wonders what about them is preventing a relationship from becoming more serious. More to the point, Walkers’ lyrics highlight how women who know and do what they want are seen as less desirable compared to those who are more submissive. Walker also alludes that these same traits are what makes men desirable.
The ninth track, “Me,” showcases Walkers’ more savage side as she sings about threatening to bring out a gun. Although claiming she would never pull the trigger, she is at that relatable stage of anger where one does not even need to raise their voice — her words say it all. Whoever she is talking about has pushed her to refuse to fall in love again.
The lack of faith in love is echoed on “Just Might,” featuring Canadian rapper- singer-songwriter PARTYNEXTDOOR. After coming to the conclusion that love is a losing game, Walker decides she “just might be a ho.” This song is another one of my personal favorites. Not only does she reclaim and normalize the pride that should be taken in choosing to play the field — often seen as shameful for women — but because she weaves in the societal induced self-doubt that often comes when making this choice. Her bad luck with love has left her questioning herself, asking “what am I missin’?,” a relatable sentiment for anyone in search of romance.
R&B artist Jhené Aiko appears on the fifteenth track, “I’ll Kill You,” as the sole female feature. Walker sings “I’ll go to Hell or jail ‘bout you boy” and Aiko “Don’t want no problems, I wish a bitch would / Try to come between us, it won’t end up good.” Both are extremely protective of their relationships, threatening any and all potential home-wreckers. Although probably not the most healthy trait in a relationship, I can not help but sing along. This is the pair’s first collaboration and as two prominent female R&B artists I look forward to more collaborations. Plus, who doesn’t get at least a little jealous?
Walker is signed to LoveRenaissance and Interscope Records, a label representing artists the likes of DaBaby, Tame Impala, Juice WRLD and Billie Eilish. Although often criticized for her shy nature and lowkey presence, Walker stays true to herself refusing to adapt to expectations for black female artists. She does not need to be a personality like Cardi B or an over-the-top performer like Beyoncé. She does not need to be boisterous in interviews or extremely open on social media. If you want to know what Walker is about, listen to her music.