Two years later, SZA finally released the song “Shirt” and paired it with a killer music video starring her and LaKeith Stanfield. Throughout the visual, SZA and Stanfield traverse through life as Bonnie and Clyde duo wreaking havoc around a city with paintball guns. From taking down pizza shops to confronting priests in underground spots full of pregnant nuns doing yoga (you read that right), SZA is in her acting bag.
The music video was directed by Dave Myers, who has created larger than life visuals for Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa (“The Sweetest Pie”), Saweetie and Doja Cat (“Best Friend”), and Normani (“Motivation”). Myers is known for creating cinematic perfection and paired with SZA’s ethereal presence and Stanfield’s Oscar-nominated acting chops, the trio created an epic Quentin Tarantino-esque visual.
The song was a labor of love between the “Love Galore” singer and famed producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins.
“That was always my dream to work with him based on his work with Brandy and Amerie,” SZA stated in an interview for Complex. “We did like seven records in one day.”
And the love was sent right back from Jerkins.
“Her pen game is arguably one of the best pen games in the game right now. It’s almost like she’s a rapper tied up in a vocalist,” Jerkins stated in Pitchfork. “There’s no fear in her writing. She’s gonna say whatever she wants to say, and that’s what it is. And to me, that’s the X factor.”
When it comes to writing, SZA is unmatched in her confessional and self-aware lyricism. With lyrics like the ones below, SZA’s songs become open diary entries meant for everyone to read, making plenty of folks feel seen for feeling similar to how she does.
Bloodstain on my shirt / New b*tch on my nerves / Old n***a got curved / Going back on my word / Damn, b*tch, you so thirsty / Stealing all of my worth / Still question my affection / Let you all in my mental / Got me lookin’ so desperate
SZA teased the track on Instagram in 2020 and within the outro of her video “Good Days”. Originally known as “Bloodstain/Shirt” fans started calling it “Shirt” and were dancing to it in TikToks, causing it to become a viral sensation.
SZA even tweeted out her support of the update saying, “I heard y’all named the tik Tok song ‘shirt’ lol. I’m fine w that.”
I heard y’all named the tik Tok song “shirt”lol . I’m fine w that
— SZA (@sza) January 8, 2021
Of course SZA wouldn’t be SZA without teasing a new song in a music video. This follows the trend that her songs “Hit Different” and “Good Days” have set. While we don’t have a song title yet, the lyrics are sure to be in tweets and Instagram captions everywhere. SZA jump started the process today, tweeting out the lyrics: I’m still playing the victim and u still playing the pick me.
I’m still playing the victim and u still playing the pick me .
— SZA (@sza) October 28, 2022
Please don’t make us wait two years for the next song, SZA.