Truth Hurts

Album: Cuz I Love You (2017)
Charted: 29 1
  • "Truth Hurts" is a kiss-off to an ex whom Lizzo dumped as he wasn't committed enough to their relationship. She's now moved on with a player on the Minnesota Vikings football team.

    Best friend sat me down in the salon chair
    Shampoo press, get you out of my hair
    Fresh photos with the bomb lighting
    New man on the Minnesota Vikings


    Lizzo moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2011 and helped form the three-piece all-female rap/R&B group The Chalice there. The Vikings are her favorite team.
  • Lizzo kicks off the song with the question:

    Why are men great until they gotta be great?

    She tweeted the meaning of the lyric: "Men hold the highest seats of power on the planet. They're constantly appointed greatness and yet cannot seem to do any good with it."
  • The song was released on September 19, 2017 by Nice Life and Atlantic Records. Though it did not chart at the time of its release, it saw a sudden increase in popularity 18 months later after being featured during a prominent scene in the 2019 Netflix rom-com film Someone Great, where Gina Rodriguez sings along to it to help get over a breakup (interest in the tune was also boosted by the TikTok android application). The song hit #1 in the US on September 7, 2019, nearly two years after it was first released.
  • Lizzo co-wrote the song with Ricky Reed, who has co-penned several of Jason Derulo's hits, including "Talk Dirty," "Wiggle" and "Swalla." The other two songwriters were Jesse Saint John (Andy Grammer's "Freeze") and Steven Cheung.
  • In the Wisconsin home of the Vikings rival Green Bay Packers, not everyone was a fan of the song's lyrics. In a June 11, 2109 story, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported that WIXX-FM, home of the Packers Radio Network, edited out every mention of "Vikings" as though it were profanity. (Thanks to Mankato, Minnesota's, Hot 96.7 FM for sharing this.)
  • When this song climbed to #1 on the Hot 100, Lizzo became only the third female rapper to earn a chart-topper as a solo artist, following Lauryn Hill and Cardi B.
  • Lizzo went to church when she performed this song at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards along with one of her older songs, "Good as Hell." With a giant inflatable bum as a backdrop, she gave a stirring performance, telling the crowd they deserve to feel "good as hell." The following week, "Good as Hell" entered the Hot 100 for the first time.
  • When "Truth Hurts" surpassed Cardi B's three-week spell at #1 with "Bodak Yellow," it became the longest-running Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper ever by a solo female rapper.
  • The song was inspired by a heartbreaking voicemail from a guy Lizzo was seeing. The dude told her not to call him anymore because he was getting back together with his ex. Lizzo recalled to Billboard that when she went into the studio to create some material with Ricky Reed, she really did not want to be there. "I was so upset and depressed and sad," she said.

    Lizzo told the producer everything that had happened and as she was talking, Reed was taking notes. She asked him what he was writing, to which he replied, "I hope you know you just wrote a song."

    Once Lizzo stepped into the booth the lyrics really began to flow. "I literally kind of went in the booth and laid down everything, verbatim, that I had said about this person who had hurt me," she said.
  • Songwriters Justin and Jeremiah Raisen went public with a plagiarism claim over this song in October 2019. According to The New York Times, the Raisen brothers, Lizzo, and two other writers, Jesse Saint John and Yves Rothman, came up with a demo called "Healthy" in April 2017 that included the famous line, "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm a 100% that bitch," which later appeared in "Truth Hurts."

    That line was adapted from a 2017 tweet by British singer Mina Lioness that Saint John showed the other writers.

    Lizzo responded to the accusations by launching legal action against the Raisen brothers and Justin 'Yves' Rothman. She said in a statement that they didn't help her write any part of the song and had nothing to do with the "DNA Test" signature line or how she chose to sing it.

    Lizzo added: "There was no one in the room when I wrote 'Truth Hurts,' except me, Ricky Reed, and my tears. That song is my life, and its words are my truth."


    Though Saint John is credited on "Truth Hurts," neither of the Raisen brothers or Rothman are. "We were never contacted about being credited for the use of the parts of 'Healthy' (melody, lyrics, and chords) that appear in 'Truth Hurts,'" the Raisens wrote in a statement.

    The Raisens added they have been trying to resolve the dispute since 2017. "We've tried to sort this out quietly for the last two years, only asking for 5% [of the songwriting royalties] each but were shut down every time."

    By February 2020, the dispute had not been resolved, so the Raisen brothers and Rothman filed a counterclaim against Lizzo, demanding they be compensated for their contribution to the song.
  • Though Lizzo denied the Raisen brothers involvement, she did later decide Mina Lioness deserved a credit for inspiring the song's signature lyric. Lizzo revealed on social media on October 23, 2019 the UK singer "is the person I am sharing my success with."
  • Ricky Reed recalled to Billboard the day Lizzo came into the studio after a boyfriend had let her down in a major way.

    "The whole beginning of that session was just venting about the situation with this guy and me taking down notes on what she was saying because the things she said were funny or outlandish," he said. "They ended up becoming the lyrics (to 'Truth Hurts')."
  • Backed by an orchestra and augmented with ballet dancers, Lizzo performed this when she opened the Grammy Awards in 2020. Billie Eilish won the major awards, but "Truth Hurts" won for Best Pop Solo Performance and Cuz I Love You for Best Urban Contemporary Album.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

DevoSongwriter Interviews

Devo founders Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale take us into their world of subversive performance art. They may be right about the De-Evoloution thing.

Bill WithersSongwriter Interviews

Soul music legend Bill Withers on how life experience and the company you keep leads to classic songs like "Lean On Me."

Subversive Songs Used To SellSong Writing

Songs about drugs, revolution and greed that have been used in commercials for sneakers, jeans, fast food, cruises and cars.

Supertramp founder Roger HodgsonSongwriter Interviews

Roger tells the stories behind some of his biggest hits, including "Give a Little Bit," "Take the Long Way Home" and "The Logical Song."

Cy Curnin of The FixxSongwriter Interviews

The man who brought us "Red Skies" and "Saved By Zero" is now an organic farmer in France.

Into The Great Wide Open: Made-up MusiciansSong Writing

Eddie (played by Johnny Depp in the video) found fame fleeting, but Chuck Berry's made-up musician fared better.