Lizzo is finally getting her time in the limelight and can I just say, it’s about time! Born Melissa Jefferson, Detroit-born Lizzo is an alternative hip-hop rap artist and flautist (flute-player) who grew up in Houston, and she’s absolutely amazing. If you have never seen someone play the flute while twerking, then you haven’t seen her performance at the BET Awards, where she wore a white bodysuit and a veil and stunned everyone by singing and rapping, then pulling out a flute and twerking while playing it. It’s a glorious video. I’d also highly recommend watching her reenactment of a scene with a fire flute from “Anchorman” with Este Haim (of the band HAIM).
There are so many reasons to love Lizzo, whether it’s her killer vocals, her rapping, her flute-playing, or the fact that she’s gorgeous. In addition to all of that, though, she’s an activist and incredibly outspoken supporter of self-love, equality, body positivity, race, and sexuality. Lizzo’s been open about her own struggles with body image and self-love, and given the high rates of body image issues and eating disorders, it’s great to hear someone with a big platform addressing these issues. On multiple occasions, she’s said, “If you can love me, you can love yourself,” which is an amazing message for anyone struggling with self-acceptance. At her Glastonbury performance in 2019, she told the crowd, “If somebody do you dirty, put that seed in the dirt and watch it grow… I want you to know that I love you very much and I’m very proud of you,” and when you watch the video, you can tell she really means it.
“Good As Hell”
This is the first Lizzo song I ever heard, and I knew I loved it within the first line: “I do my hair toss, check my nails./ Baby, how you feeling?/ Feeling good as hell!” Listening to the song feels like hanging out with your best friend; Lizzo sings about helping a friend feel better after a rough breakup. The song is an anthem of power for people who feel down after breaking up with their significant other, and it reassures them that they can do better than to be with someone who doesn’t love them the way they deserve to be loved.
Like all Lizzo songs, it’s incredibly catchy and self-empowering, and when paired with the music video, even more so. The video, mostly set in a hair salon, features women of color with a wide variety of hairstyles; some are rocking their natural curls while others flaunt relaxed or braided styles, all of them looking super fierce. Given the tendency for society to try to police women of color and their hair, it’s great to see an artist openly celebrate natural hair and women’s right to choose how to wear their hair.
Probably one of the catchiest songs that I’ve ever heard, “Juice” is another amazing ode to feeling yourself, being confident, and owning your own gloriousness. If you want a song to dance around to in your bedroom to pump you up before the day begins or before you go out at night, this is the one. It’s an instant mood and confidence-booster, and it’s guaranteed to help you conquer whatever the day has in store for you.
If you’ve ever seen those Jane Fonda 80’s workout videos, the song’s music video will look very familiar. It’s retro and hilarious, featuring Lizzo going on a few different home shopping channels to promote her product called “Juice” and leading a workout class for people in leotards, spandex, leg warmers, and terrycloth armbands.
Are you a sucker for a good trumpet solo? Then “Worship” is the song for you to add to your queue. We already know that Lizzo is a huge proponent of self-love and acceptance, and with “Worship,” she makes it clear that the principles extend to how other people should treat her, particularly lovers. Lizzo won’t accept mediocre in her relationships; she gives others her best, and they should extend the same courtesy to her. “Worship” is a joyous celebration of maintaining standards for a relationship and not settling for someone who’s ambivalent or careless with their– or your– affections. No douchebags to be found here, thank you very much.
Although this doesn’t have a music video, I’d highly recommend watching her performance of it at Glastonbury 2019. Her shiny purple bodysuit and matching eyeshadow are amazing, and her vocal performance is everything I live for and love. Honestly this song (and also “Cuz I Love You”) is where her vocals really shine and you can hear her pay tribute to gospel music, which is only appropriate given the name of the song. Plus, she adds this killer homage to Aretha Franklin in the middle of the song, which only makes it better. The backup dancers are really great and Lizzo is fantastic at engaging the crowd.
If you’ve seen the Gina Rodriguez Netflix movie “Someone Great,” then you know this jam lamenting wasted time in a relationship that ultimately didn’t pan out. Lizzo celebrates the single life in this song and acknowledges that she refuses to be anyone’s “side chick” since she’s worth more than to be relegated to a secondary position in a lover’s life. The best time to listen to this is when an ex hits you with the “u up?” text at 1am and you need some reassurance that not texting back is the right thing to do. You’ve moved on, you’re happier without them, and it’s time for you to live your best life, with or without a significant other. Either way, you’re a bad b*tch and you deserve happiness. In the music video, Lizzo marries herself, and I’m not really sure you need much more information than that to know that it’s great.
“Tempo” feat. Missy Elliott
This is so many things I never knew I needed but am so glad now exist. Lizzo + Missy Elliott + a rad guitar solo beginning + amazing music video + fire beat = “Tempo.” The song isn’t for the faint of heart or lack of twerk skills but it’s such a good song for dancing at a club. It’s fast, it’s fun, it celebrates being thicc, and it’s a good time overall. The music video costumes are amazing (there’s a red cowboy hat and a cape made of blue fur on top of a blue sequined bikini) and it’s hilarious to see Missy Elliott pop up out of the hood of a car.