Turns out there's a buried menu at "Settings" called "USB Utilities" which you'd need to get to first before you can access your SD Card (and it also lets you access the system's internal memory).
So "Settings" (from home page) --> "Wireless and network" --> "USB utilities" --> connect the USB Cable (don't connect it before this) --> Then click "Connect Storage to PC".
Then a pop up window to "Open Folder" will appear or you can simply hit My Computer and see everything there. From there you can drop music files onto your SD card if you already bought one.
Once done, you'd need to un-mount (eject) the USB drive from your laptop by using the remove external hardware thingie and then just press the "Disconnect storage from PC". Then you disconnect the USB cable.
I thought this is noteworthy since I just spent the last hour scouring the web for various solutions - even one that suggests I should disable my SIM card password - and none worked. Till I found this solution after digging through my "phablet". Hope this doesn't happen to anyone else because this was frustrating.