What do we do with a problem like SZA? Or, more accurately, what do we do with a problem like the wait for SZA's sophomore album? We've been waiting on the set for over two years, ever since the arrival of her jam "Hit Different" in September 2020. Since then, the TDE songstress has dropped two other official singles ("Good Days" and "I Hate U"), won a GRAMMY for her Doja Cat collaboration "Kiss Me More" and dropped a deluxe edition of her debut CTRL to celebrate its five-year anniversary. All that and no album has materialized. That could be changing, though, as the songstress has finally released her much-anticipated single "Shirt."
Teased at the end of the video for "Good Days," "Shirt" is a song all about SZA's favorite topic: a love that's very, very complicated. The song, which is produced by Rodney Jerkins and Freaky Rob, is centered around heavy-hitting drums and a throbbing 808 that allows the singer to work out her inner issues about the relationship's ups and downs.
"Bloodstain on my shirt / New b***h on my nerves / Old n***a got curved / Going back on my word / Damn, b***h, you so thirsty," she sings on the chorus. "Still don't know my worth / Still stressin' perfection / Let you all in my mental / Got me lookin' too desperate / Damn."
The song's video picks up on a thread teased by the visualizer for "I Hate U," with Lakeith Stanfield once again playing her leading man in the Dave Meyers-directed clip. The two are a lethal couple in the vein of Natural Born Killers' Mickey and Mallory Knox who go on a killing spree. During one of the kills, however, SZA is betrayed by her lover and her spirit floats to the beyond. That's not the last we see of her, though, as she haunts him and then is eventually resurrected to give him one last seductive dance before he meets his eventual demise.
The end of the visual once again finds the singer teasing a new song, this time with SZA singing the new track "Blind." We just hope that we won't have to wait another year to hear this one in full. And maybe we won't have to if eagle-eyed fan theories prove to be true.
In one scene from the "Shirt" visual, a license plate reading "NO CTRL" with an expiration date of December 2022 is shown and some think this is giving us the title and release month of SZA's sophomore album. That remains to be seen, but you can enjoy the stream of "Shirt" and its video when you press play below and formulate your own theories.