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"If rap were truly a meritocracy,
SHIRT would be in the running for King of New York" - Pitchfork
"His wordplay is insane" - XXL
"...in awe of the breadth one man can display in eleven tracks." - Loud And Quiet
Third Man Records is proud to announce the release of PURE BEAUTY, the label debut album from multi-talented Queens-based rapper SHIRT. The album is available now at all digital music retailers and streaming services; a vinyl LP edition (featuring alternative cover art by famed conceptual artist John Baldessari) will be available on February 23rd along with a special limited edition LP package containing bonus content and a Baldessari-inspired shirt. Pre-orders are available now!
The above single, "Flight Home," quickly drew passionate applause from an extraordinary range of media outlets upon release. Pitchfork declared it "an endearing New York rap anthem," writing, "since 2012, (SHIRT has) carved out an underground identity that hinged on PR pranks like designing a fake New York Times profile and jacking indie pop duo Purity Ring's beats for an entire mixtape...It's hard to imagine a rapper fitting in at Third Man, but SHIRT is the kind of lovable, everyman MC who could make a perfect fit." "Flight Home" is "a warm, inclusive piece of boom-bap about migrant people longing to see their homelands," noted Stereogum, while Baeble Music raved: "SHIRT delivers his verses with an assured sense of self, and he relies more on bombarding you with hooks and punches than intriguing with finesse...'Flight Home' is a total homage to his stomping grounds. Riding on top of a truck through the Lower East Side, SHIRT takes in the city life, before taking a trip down to the famed Freedom Tunnel. Given his move to Third Man Records, it's probably his last piece of work as an 'underground' artist, but I have a feeling he'll enjoy the limelight just as much."
Inspired in part by the work of aforementioned conceptual art giant John Baldessari, PURE BEAUTY fully affirms SHIRT as one of the most gifted and creative artists of the modern hip-hop era, equally adept as a composer, painter, writer, and sculptor of innovative rap music. Executive Produced by SHIRT, tracks like "Palace Intrigue" and "Climate Change" see the Queens-based artist collaborating with an array of forward-thinking beatmasters and producers, among them Ricky Dubs, Zois, New York, Donnie Fontaine, Joe Hov, Steel Tipped Dove, brady james, Wonder Breed, and San Holo. PURE BEAUTY was written and performed entirely by SHIRT, bar the opening track, "Snowbeach," written and performed by Chase and SHIRT, as well as the closing track, "Mise En Abyme," written and performed by Marie Matusz and SHIRT. The album was recorded and mixed in Basel, Switzerland, where SHIRT is currently completing a Master's in Fine Arts degree having been accepted to TK based entirely on his impressive portfolio of multi-platform visual art and music.