The truth may hurt for Lizzo in songwriting feud

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The truth may hurt for Lizzo in songwriting feud

Graphic by Alex Iannone

Graphic by Alex Iannone

Graphic by Alex Iannone

Caroline Hendrix, Contributing Writer

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Rapper, singer and songwriter Lizzo rose to fame soon after her song “Truth Hurts” was featured in the Netflix movie “Someone Great,” a rom-com with well-known actors such as Gina Rodriguez and Brittany Snow. According to Billboard, the song “doubles the record for the longest Hot 100 command for a rap No. 1 by a female artist unaccompanied by another act.” Although, Lizzo’s popularity did not happen overnight.

The 31-year-old had been uploading musical covers onto her “lizzomusic” YouTube channel with videos dating back to December of  2009 and began releasing original music in 2016 with her EP “Coconut Oil.” New fans, like myself, are mad that they did not discover her sooner and cannot imagine a world without her in the spotlight. Lizzo’s unique sound isn’t the only reason for her popularity. Recently, news broke of a feud with past co-songwriters over the credits to a line in her unarguably most popular song, “Truth Hurts.” Are these songwriters, Justin and Jeremiah Raisen, right to demand credit for the line? Most importantly, will Lizzo fans ever know the truth?

For background, Lizzo has worked with Justin and Jeremiah Raisen in previous years on unreleased music. One of those unreleased songs in particular, “Healthy,” includes a very similar line to “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent . . .” (you know the rest), which Lizzo used in “Truth Hurts.” Lizzo claims to have crafted this line from a meme, created by singer Mina Lioness, and used it in the unreleased song and in “Truth Hurts.” Though, according to the Washington Post, the Raisen brothers claim to have come across this line and introduced it to Lizzo.

Justin and Jeremiah Raisen not only want credit for the one line they allegedly created for Lizzo in the past, but they also want to profit off of it. The Raisens are fighting for five percent of the songwriting royalties for “Truth Hurts,” according to the Washington Post. At the end of the day, the argument between Lizzo and the Raisen brothers seems to be all about the money. It is obvious that the Raisen brothers want to leave this scandal with money in their pockets, but is it as obvious that Lizzo is fighting over money rather than solely her creative license over the line?

Lizzo filed a lawsuit against the brothers as well as another songwriter who helped write “Healthy,” says Washington Post. It remains a question as to whether or not Lizzo’s intentions in filing a lawsuit were pure. Is she trying to defend her claim that the Raisens took no part in creating that one line in “Truth Hurts,” or is the lawsuit purely about keeping all of the royalties from the song to herself? Lizzo fans and spectators of this drama have no way of knowing the truth.

When Lizzo sings “I got boy problems,” I don’t think that a lawsuit against the Raisen brothers is what she or her listeners had in mind. Nonetheless, “Truth Hurts” is an empowering song and I don’t think that anyone besides those involved in the lawsuit cares about who wrote it and who should profit off of it. The line in question, as well as the song as a whole,  should be known for its positive and inspiring message of independence and should not be tied to this unnecessary scandal.

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