Respect The Neighbors • SHIRT

Age: Unknown • Hometown: Queens, NY • Follow: Twitter // Soundcloud

In early 2014, SHIRT broke out onto the scene in a way I can confidently say no other artist ever has. Aside from the music he was pushing, SHIRT executed a well calculated plot to up his media coverage by creating an entirely fake New Your Times website and article about himself allegedly penned by respected music journalist Jon Caramanica. Everything from the website to the endorsement from Caramanica were complete fabrications, but the bold PR move had the internet going nuts and introduced SHIRT to a lot of people who were otherwise unfamilar with the Queens native. 

Essential Listens

Although a questionable tactic to get some shine, SHIRT's deception worked, helping to elevate his name recognition and giving new fans an easier way to search for him on Google. Let's face it: you can't just type SHIRT into your search bar and expect to find this guy's raps. Faking the endorsement of a highly respected publication and writer is definitely a stunt, but this was no move made by a struggle rapper trying to con his way to the top of New York hip hop. SHIRT can and has backed up those words he fabricated back in 2014 with a handful of releases including his album Rap.  

Jumping back into the present day, SHIRT recently caught the attention of Chicago indie label Closed Sessions and has since become the outfit's first non-Chicago based artist to release music with the CS stamp of approval. His Rap Money EP released through Closed Sessions is a sonic interpretation of the braggadocio that would compel someone to pull off a stunt like the one discussed above. While still fairly new to the game, SHIRT wears his confidence on his face and has zero doubt in his abilities as an emcee. Is his arrogance justified? We're still trying to figure that out as well, but SHIRT is off to a pretty good start. Be sure to check out the essential listens we've compiled and give the Rap Money EP a spin in its entirety at the link above. If you're messing with the project, you can also support SHIRT and Closed Sessions by copping the EP on iTunes.