About Damn Time

Album: Special (2022)
Charted: 3 1
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Songfacts®:

  • Lizzo wrote "About Damn Time" as music therapy for when she's down about herself and wants to feel better.

    Turn up the music, let's celebrate (Alright)
    I got a feelin' I'm gon' be okay
    Okay (Okay), alright
    It's about damn time


    The funky track is Lizzo's melodic medicine for her blues. "I think life had thrown some major traumas and hard experiences at us, especially globally these last few years," she told Audacy's Julia. "And I wanted to write a song that allowed us to take a moment and celebrate our survival, and celebrate how far we've come. And I think 'About Damn Time' does just that - it does it for me honey."
  • The singer already had a song for when she needs a boost: her 2016 self-loving anthem "Good As Hell." When Lizzo is on stage or having a bad day, she sings "Good As Hell" and straightaway feels better. She wanted to write another song that lifts her up, and "About Damn Time" achieves that goal.
  • Lizzo wrote "About Damn Time" with:

    Her go-to producer Ricky Reed ("Truth Hurts," "Tempo," "Juice," "Good As Hell," and "Rumors").

    Songwriter and producer Blake Slatkin, who has also contributed towards hits for 24kGoldn ("Mood"), The Kid Laroi ("Without You" and "Stay") and Lil Nas X ("Thats What I Want").

    Songwriter Theron Thomas. He also helped Lizzo pen "Juice," "Tempo" and "Rumors."

    Because "About Damn Time" samples "Hey! DJ" by The World's Famous Supreme Team, the writers of that 1984 hip hop classic - Larry Price, Malcolm Mclaren, Ronald Larkins and Stephen Hague – also get credited.
  • Lizzo released "About Damn Time" as the lead single from her fourth studio album, Special. The funk-inspired disco number was the last song she penned for the record, written after she thought she'd completed the project.

    When Reed and Slatkin informed her in February 2022 they'd come up with another track, Lizzo told them she wasn't coming to the studio unless it's a hit. When they played her the track, she told the producers she'd be with them in 10 minutes.

    Lizzo wanted something on her album that felt like "Good As Hell," and their instrumentation fit the bill. "This was intentionally disco, funk, something to walk to coming out of this dark time," she told Apple Music's Zane Lowe.
  • Lizzo studied the flute at the University of Houston and often plays the instrument on her releases, including this song. The rest of the instrumentation is:

    Synthesizer and piano: Ricky Reed
    Bass: Ricky Reed
    Guitar: Nate Mercereau and Ricky Reed
    Percussion and drums: Victor Indrizzo
    Glockenspiel: Ricky Reed
    Vocoder: Terrace Martin
    Trumpet: Michael Cordone
    Trombone: Jesse McGinty
    Saxophone: Jesse McGinty
    Additional Vocals: Doshiniq Green, Chawnta Marie Van, Mike Wright, Shelby Swain, Blake Slatkin and Ricky Reed.
  • Lizzo first revealed and teased "About Damn Time" on the March 22, 2022 episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden, which featured a snippet of the pre-chorus and chorus.
  • The Christian Breslauer-directed video finds Lizzo leaving a "Stressed & Sexy" support group, before performing a dance routine. The Florida director has also worked with the likes of Doja Cat ("Streets") and Lil Nas X ("Industry Baby").
  • After writing "About Damn Time," Lizzo scrapped all the songs on Special that didn't fit with her new vibe. "I had an epiphany like, 'Oh I only want songs that are love frequency,' like, very about love, and also bangers," she told ET Canada. "I wanted to make Lizzobangers again. So even if it's a ballad, it bangs."
  • A TikTok dance challenge for "About Damn Time" choreographed by creator Jaedan Gomez went viral, fueling sales and streams. "There's a lot of meaning behind the moves; they really correspond with the lyrics," Gomez told Pop Sugar. "The lyrics are empowering and strong, so the moves had to match the vibe - sassy and lots of attitude."
  • After working on Special for several months, Blake Slatkin thought they'd finished. But when the producer got a call saying they needed one more song, he and Ricky Reed went back into the studio.

    Slatkin barely plays the piano, but started tinkling the ivories trying to come up with something. When Reed heard the chords he added a baseline, then they FaceTimed Lizzo.

    After playing their idea to her, Lizzo told the producers she'd be in the studio in 10 minutes. The singer came up with the hook and all the melodies, but from there it took about 30 sessions and many iterations to get to the final song. "What's so amazing to me about Lizzo's process is she knows exactly when something's right, and we're just going to work until we get it there," Slatkin told Billboard. "I'll never forget the day we started the track, and I'll never forget the day when Lizzo first sang, 'In a minute, I'ma need a…,' on the second verse. I ran around the studio screaming."
  • Lizzo wasn't a big fan of the song while working on it and nearly didn't release it as a single. Once she'd completed it, she realized its message was something the world needed to hear. "The 'I've been so down and under pressure, I'm way too fine to be this stressed' - it's like, hello!" she explained the YouTube talk show Hot Ones. "We needed that right then when I dropped that mother----r."
  • Lizzo performed this song at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2022, where it won Video For Good.

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