Allow me to introduce you to Lizzo, an artist who doesn’t need much introduction these days. Melissa Viviane Jefferson was born in Detroit, Michigan, and relocated to Houston when she was in elementary school. While living in Texas, she began singing and rapping and, when she became an adult, studied classical music at the University of Houston.
Known for her wicked flute playing abilities, as well as her voiceover work in the movie Ugly Dolls, Lizzo is an artist on the rise, but it’s been a curious trip to the top. . Her recent chart-topping single, “Truth Hurts”, was released in 2017 but didn’t reach its full potential until this year when Lizzo debuted her third studio album, Cuz I Love You. (The song’s appearance on the Netflix movie Someone Great didn’t hurt, either.)
Now, “Truth Hurts” sits on Billboard’s Hot 100 list as one of the catchiest pop songs of the summer, wherein Lizzo tells listeners that she will never allow a man to hold her down.
Lizzo’s kind of over guys, especially ones who cave under pressure or ruin their good standing with her. “Why’re men great ‘til they gotta be great?” She asks.
Never mind men, because no matter how they act Lizzo is still “100% that b–ch/Even when I’m crying crazy.” She knows she has issues (“Yeah, I got boy problems, that’s the human in me”) but she works them out in her own way (“Bling bling, then I solve ’em, that’s the goddess in me”).
One of her issues? A man who cheats: “You tried to break my heart?/Oh, that breaks my heart/…Hey, I’m glad you’re back with your b–ch.” Her solution: To kick him to the curb, set boundaries (“I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be your side chick”) and hold to new, stronger standards (“I don’t play tag b–ch, I been it/We don’t f— with lies, we don’t do goodbyes/We just keep it pushing like ay-ay-ay”).
Besides, he’s the one missing out on all she has to offer (“You coulda had a bad b–ch, non-committal/Help you with your career just a little”), and even if he did want her back, it’s too late (“You’re ‘posed to hold me down, but you’re holding me back/And that’s the sound of me not calling you back”).
Now, Lizzo is only interested in honesty from a man (“Don’t text me, tell it straight to my face”) and from her friends (“Best friend sat me down in the salon chair/Shampoo press, get you out of my hair”).
She’s also totally cool with living the single life (“I put the sing in single/Ain’t worried ’bout a ring on my finger”) flirting with her ex’s friends (“So you can tell your friend, “shoot your shot” when you see ’em/It’s OK, he already in my DMs”) and letting this guy know that he’s been replaced (“Fresh photos with the bomb lighting (bomb lighting)/New man on the Minnesota Vikings (Minnesota Vikings)/Truth hurts, needed something more exciting”).
In an interview with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, Lizzo opened up about how people have labeled her as “brave” for being willing to show some skin, though she’s not Hollywood’s typical size two:
“Before the term body positive was this kind of like mainstream thing, I was just making music about my body that was positive…Now body positivity is this like buzzing term. There’s no term for body negativity because it’s the norm. It’s what we expect…but I’m literally here making music so I can live a more positive, happier, healthier life.”
I personally love reading something like this. Although Lizzo is not a family-friendly music artist, In this area she’s right: It’s important to love yourself in your own skin. She also dives into topics such as self-respect and healthy boundaries.
But though those positive themes do exist, they don’t necessarily make up for the problems found in her music. Lizzo’s album cover features her completely naked while covering private body parts. In the music video for the track, Lizzo and other women wear lingerie. We also see two men flirt with one another, as well as people drinking champagne and wine and a shirtless minister who is obviously interested in Lizzo. In the song itself, the f-word is used and “b–ch” is heard multiple times.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).