Have SZA And Lakieth Stanfield Worked Together Before?

SZA has been meticulous about “Shirt,” her forthcoming single that fans have been clamoring for since she first performed it in July 2021. The track was rumored to have an October 14 release date, which SZA confirmed while headlining Austin City Limits, saying, “It didn’t come out because I looked at the video, and I was stressed at one small thing in the video. But I fixed that, and it’s turned in and about to come out.” Then, “Shirt” appeared and just as quickly disappeared from Spotify last week. And now, “Shirt” and its video are coming tomorrow (October 28).

All of this is to say, LaKeith Stanfield’s casting in the Dave Meyers-directed “Shirt” video was no accident.

SZA dropped a 27-second trailer yesterday, which finds her and Stanfield sitting opposite each other in a restaurant booth. “Energy’s everything,” SZA says. Stanfield picks up salt shakers and touches the table, which SZA confirms are also rooted in energy. “You and me?” he asks, but the weighted moment in interrupted by the guy sitting next to him. Stanfield slaps him upside the head, and the trailer ends with SZA shooting him in the face.

The Atlanta and Oscar-nominated Judas And The Black Messiah actor previously starred in SZA’s “I Hate U” visualizer in January. Stanfield pulled up to the coast on an ominously foggy day, screaming into his phone and walking down to the beach to smoke off his frustrations. It doesn’t work. He pulls out his phone, sees text from SZA saying “I hate u” and throws it into the ocean. Between the two videos, it’s clear SZA and Stanfield have perfected how to portray volatility.

Watch the “Shirt” teaser above.

“Shirt” is out 10/28 via Top Dawg Entertainment and RCA. Pre-save it here.