Jack White‘s independent record label, Third Man Records, has been known to sign all kinds of artists—predominantly rock, punk, blues, and country—but the one territory they had yet to traverse into was hip-hop… that is, until now, with the recent signing of their first rap artist, Shirt.
The Queens, New York-native first rose to fame by using gimmicks such as publishing a fake New York Times article and name-dropping power players. However, it was Shirt’s street albums Rap Money, Nike Adidas, and Museum which created the real internet buzz about him.
Shirt’s debut single “Flight Home,” was recently released from Third Man Records and is chock full of the kind of bravado and lavishness one associates the genre, and it has a profound message too.
The “Flight Home” video features Shirt riding atop a truck with Nike and Adidas signage through Manhattan – something he used to do frequently. After, he enjoys a fine meal and brings the viewer to the famed Freedom Tunnel. This is to accentuate the subject nature of the song, which is the longing feelings that many migrant people have to return to their homelands and the connection they all share in that regardless of origin.
“Flight Home” is also the first single from Shirt’s upcoming Third Man debut album Pure Beauty, which will be put out physically on a limited release and digitally, on Feb 9th.
Shirt’s contract with Third Man might come as some surprise to people who are familiar with The White Stripes frontman’s past work. Hip-hop is not the kind of music he is known for producing, nor the kind of artists he is known for having worked with. However, he is a fan of the genre, having dabbled in it with pseudo-rap singles such as “Lazaretto” and “Black Bat Licorice” from his 2014 solo album Lazaretto, the latter of which he even performed live with Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest.
WATCH: SHIRT – “FLIGHT HOME”