Two years after the release of her debut album Over It, Summer Walker has arrived with her second album Still Over It. It features Cardi B, Pharrell, JT from City Girls and more, marking Walker's proper arrival as one of the biggest voices in R&B music right now.
For those of you who are just getting on the Walker train, we've put together a guide of how she got here from a Drake feature to one of the biggest R&B records of the last few years.
Last Days Of Summer
Summer Walker has a phenomenal discovery story. The studio manager of her label LVRN, who is also named Summer Walker, Googled her name and came across videos Walker had uploaded to YouTube. The rest, as they say, is history. Last Days Of Summer was Walker's first official mixtape for the label - a moody collection of sex positive R&B songs that established her amongst those in the knows as one to watch. Girls Need Love was the one that began to take off, finding big streaming numbers and a home on radio.
Gaining traction with Girls Need Love, Walker offered up the Clear EP. It was recorded in a treehouse in an Airbnb she rented in Atlanta. It's a DIY project that showcases Walker's emotional honesty. "I don't want no sinking ship," she sang on the EP's opening track Riot, directly telling her man that she's after more.
Girls Need Love (Drake Remix)
A Drake co-sign is a ticket to the top. Even moreso if he hops on the song. Drake heard Girls Need Love in a bowling alley, later DMing Walker on Instagram. Eventually, he recorded a verse for the song and helped it become her first hit on the Billboard 100.
With Girls Need Love still burning strong, Walker began the rollout of her debut album Over It. Playing Games was the first single from the record and it interpolated Destiny's Child's Say My Name. At nearly 200 million streams, it's still the most streamed song off the record, reaching numbers that are rare for R&B voices. It topped Girls Need Love on the Billboard 100 making it all the way to 16. Rolling Stone named it the 10th best song of 2019.
As far as debut records go, you don't get much bigger than Over It. The project which featured Bryson Tiller, Usher, 6lack and more, broke big records in its first week showing Walker's quick ascent. The London On Da Track-produced project debuted at #2 in the US. It marked the largest streaming numbers for a female R&B singer and stayed atop the R&B charts for 14 weeks. By year's end, the album appeared on End of Year lists by Complex, Rolling Stone and Uproxx.
Come Thru (With Usher)
Apart from Playing Games, Come Thru was the biggest song from the record. The Usher-assisted cut was also performed at the BET Awards. It's rare for an artist to get an Usher feature this early in their career but the hype surrounding Walker by this point was intense.
So intense was the hype that Usher's protege Justin Bieber plucked Walker to be on a remix of his Changes lead-single Yummy. Let's not beat around the bush here, Yummy is a severely annoying song but there's something about Walker's intoxicating delivery that makes it delectable for the first time.
Eleven (With Khalid)
Walker kept the collabs coming in between albums, teaming up with Khalid for his song Eleven. The song was originally released as a Khalid solo track but Walker jumped on it taking the R&B slow-burner into a new realm. The pair drag-raced in the neon-lit music video which may be one of our favourite Walker visuals.
Mood Swings (Remix)
Mood Swings was one of the most viral songs off Pop Smokes' first posthumous release Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon. The song originally only featured Lil Tjay but Walker turned out on the remix of it, adding a soulful verse to the Pop Smoke fan favourite.
You Will Be Found (With Sam Smith)
We don't get many Summer Walker ballads but she delivered one alongside ballad-master Sam Smith on the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack. The luscious, orchestral track gives us a chance to hear Walker's voice in full flight. Who knew she could belt if she really had to.
Ex For A Reason (Feat. JT from City Girls)
Ex For A Reason is the first single off Still Over It. The track, which features JT from the City Girls, was the only single to be released from the record before it dropped. It flew straight into the Billboard 100 landing just outside of the top 50 in its first week. It's a moveable R&B cut that ups the pace for Walker, giving us My Boo by Ghost Town DJs vibes.
Still Over It
Still Over It is fresh out in the world. With Cardi B, Ciara, Pharrell and more along for the ride, it's likely that this is going to be one of the big R&B records of the year. It's early days right now but we may agree with Walker at this stage that Toxic is the strongest song on the record.