TDE’s president Terrence “Punch” Henderson has responded to SZA’s claims that he’s the one holding back her new album.
The Top Dawg Entertainment executive appeared on the latest episode of Math Hoffa’s My Expert Opinion podcast and started off by saying he respects fans that demand new music from their favorite artists.
“I respect fans that demand it because it was obvious something was said that touched their lives to where they want it this bad,” Punch said. “I mean it can go overboard with certain people but at the end of the day you know that’s the motivation.”
That naturally led to a conversation about SZA, who in July said she wanted to drop her Ctrl follow-up this summer, but that Punch wouldn’t allow it.
“You gotta understand the context, and you have to know the person,” Punch said. “You have to know how something was said. If it was lighthearted. If it was serious, like what it was. If she’s responding to somebody and saying, ‘You gotta ask Punch.’ You can take that a gang of different ways based on your disposition.”
He continued: “And you only get so many characters when you’re tweeting, and people get a whole story and run with it. What I always like to ask is: What do I gain from not putting the album out?”
Punch was then pushed to give a more straightforward answer surrounding what actually happened.
“I remember one of the main things that kicked this off,” he said. “I was dropping the ‘Hit Different’ record and Ty Dolla $ign was on the hook, but Ty had just dropped his single. So they called and asked could we wait for a week just to give him some run on what he was doing before we put ours out.”
He added: “So I’m like, ‘Yeah we can do that,’ and I held the song back for a week and it was taken as I’m holding the album back. So we go from there and it snowballs to where the fans see it and they only see the small print.”
Punch then said he even told SZA this, but that she misinterpreted what he meant.
Despite this miscommunication between SZA and Punch, the pair reportedly reconciled, and in August the latter confirmed that SZA’s album was on the way.
“It’s not really a secret. SZA’s coming very, very soon. We pretty much have the album done…We know exactly when it’s coming out,” he said in an interview with Vulture. “But on the internet, you only get a certain amount of characters. You don’t have time to really go into a full explanation of what’s going on like that when you’re in the moment and tweeting something.”
He continued: “Is [SZA] happy? I’d say so. Last album, triple platinum. What happens is people put a story into their own narrative and create a situation that’s not really there. I’m not going to say there’s never been contention.”
Elsewhere in Punch’s lengthy sitdown with My Expert Opinion, he also talked about Kendrick Lamar’s incendiary “Control” verse in 2013, in which he listed off a plethora of his rap peers as competition, including Drake, J. Cole, Pusha T and others.
The track sparked a whirlwind of responses, but according to Punch, there was one rapper who stood out amongst the pack.
“I listened to all of them,” Punch said. “I think it might have been [Joe] Budden. I like Budden.” He added: “It was funny to us. We literally sitting back like, ‘Ha! N-ggas mad. Look, all of them responding. That’s crazy.’”