SZA finally dropped her long-awaited song “Shirt”, plus an accompanying visualizer for the new track.
It’s been roughly two years since the R&B singer first teased the song, which she said marks the beginning of new music: “It’s album time baby. Y’all gonna get it all. New era starts now.”
The graphic music video, directed by Dave Meyers, stars SZA alongside “Atlanta” and “Judas and the Black Messiah” actor LaKeith Stanfield as a couple who go on a killing spree, committing violent, ruthless crimes. The video nods to numerous classic films like 1971’s “Shaft” and several Quentin Tarantino projects.
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SZA and Stanfield’s onscreen relationship also elicits that of classic leading pairs in 1967’s “Bonnie and Clyde” and 1994’s “Natural Born Killers.” The song and video also reference other films like 2001’s “Save the Last Dance”, in which SZA sings: “I ain’t no Julia Stiles / This ain’t no ‘Last Dance’.”
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The new video marks SZA’s third time collaborating with Meyers. The two previously worked together on visuals for her 2017 song “Drew Barrymore” and 2018’s “All The Stars”, featuring Kendrick Lamar — the theme song for the first “Black Panther” movie. The award-winning singer also worked with Stanfield last year on the visualizer for her 2021 single “I Hate U”.
Over the past year, various forms of “Shirt” have circled around the internet after SZA first teased the song on her Instagram Story in 2020. She later followed up on TikTok, releasing a snippet of the track via a dance challenge in January 2021. Over 145 million views have been amassed on videos using the audio snippet on the platform.
Fans have been nothing but eager for SZA to release new music, after all it’s been over five years since she released her 2017 debut studio album Ctrl. In April, she told Variety at the Grammys that she “just finished” her new album and that “it’s coming soon!”
However, recently the singer has appeared to be uncertain as to when the project will drop.
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“I don’t have any deadlines because, at the end of the day, when my shit comes out, it comes out,” she told Complex earlier this month. “And if ever I lose my ability to choose, I have no problem vacating my current life and doing something different. I’m not glued to being an artist for the rest of my life or anything for that matter. I’m seeing where it takes me.”
Hopefully fans won’t have to wait much longer for SZA to release her new music. In the meantime, they can watch the singer flex her acting skills in the “Shirt” music video above.