Truth Hurts

Album: Cuz I Love You (2017)
Charted: 29 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • "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."
  • 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."
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

The FratellisSongwriter Interviews

Jon Fratelli talks about the band's third album, and the five-year break leading up to it.

Rosanne CashSongwriter Interviews

Rosanne talks about the journey that inspired her songs on her album The River & the Thread, including a stop at the Tallahatchie Bridge.

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Graham ParkerSongwriter Interviews

When Judd Apatow needed under-appreciated rockers for his Knocked Up sequel, he immediately thought of Parker, who just happened to be getting his band The Rumour back together.

Keith Reid of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

As Procol Harum's lyricist, Keith wrote the words to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." We delve into that song and find out how you can form a band when you don't sing or play an instrument.

Martin PageSongwriter Interviews

With Bernie Taupin, Martin co-wrote the #1 hits "We Built This City" and "These Dreams." After writing the Pretty Woman song for Go West, he had his own hit with "In the House of Stone and Light."