Photo Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Coachella
Lizzo is the definition of a TRUE entertainer. The pop and r&b singer-songwriter, rapper, and avid flutist, is by all means an artistic extraordinaire! Innovative, likable, and strangely interesting, Lizzo has a lovable weirdness that carries its sassy style right into her music. Take for example, her infamous 2018 Instagram video where she boldly claims, “Have you ever seen a bitch hit the flute then shoot?” The self-proclaimed BBW then proceeds to pick up her miniature flute (named “Sasha” by the way) play a beautiful medley, then coyly follow that up with a full on twerk session with her backup dancers. The video is currently trending at over 200,000 views. She does…you know, things like that! That brings us to her most recent and hugely awaited project Cuz I Love You, which rides an already tidal wave of confidence thanks to the lively and highly popular girl power anthem “Juice” as she belts: “If I’m shinin’, everybody gonna shine // I was born like this, don’t even gotta try // I’m like chardonnay, get better over time // Heard you say I’m not the baddest, b*tch, you lied.”
The eleven-track project marks Lizzo’s third official studio release, which is a follow-up to 2013’s Lizzobangers, that made her a local star in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As well as 2015’s Big Grrrl Small World that spawned hit singles “My Skin” and the stellar collaboration titled “Boy Trouble” with fellow Minnesota native and musical icon Prince. In time, Lizzo began to make headlines for her savage punch lines like: “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that b*tch.” Which was from the snazzy single “Hot Dish” off her debut album Lizzobangers.
On Cuz I Love You, Lizzo has perfected that magical fierceness that has cemented her success and she continues to show it on tracks such as “Like A Girl”. She flows emphatically, projecting her femininity on the hook singing: “Sugar, spice, and I’m nice, show me what you made of // Crazy, sexy, cool baby without makeup // Got nothing to prove, but Ima show you how I do.” Elsewhere, the tempo slows and you see more of her quirkiness on the playful “Jerome” which sounds like a 1970’s Supremes track meets Erykah Badu’s 1997 hit “Tyrone”, as she sings gingerly to a former lover.
She marches on with “Soulmate”, touching on self-empowerment, introspection, and love. “Cause I’m my own soulmate // I know how to love me // I know that I’m always gonna hold me down // Yeah, I’m my own soulmate // No, I’m never lonely // I know I’m a queen but I don’t need no crown // Look up in the mirror like damn she the one.” The Missy Elliot assisted “Tempo” is another dazzling addition. Showcasing her versatility, Lizzo spits razor sharp lyrics alongside the veteran MC with finesse: “Slow songs those for skinny h*es, can’t move all this here to one of those // I’m a thick b*tch, need tempo // I’m a big boned with nice curves // Look at me I know I look good though,” Missy chimes in.
To its credit, the album does boast a well rounded bit of empowering and uplifting material, however there are a few hiccups along the way, as Lizzo tends to over sing a little too much at times. For example, on “Exactly How I Feel” with enigmatic trap rapper Gucci Mane, which makes for an odd pairing and also feels that way. Add that with the overproduction which doesn’t help, it comes off as a lackluster feature. The same can be said for “Heaven Help Me” and “Crybaby”, though both are still very strong vocally. Despite this, she keeps pace as the album rolls on, flexing her chops like a champ on the title track “Cuz I Love You”. Which was an apparent ode her mentor, the late great Aretha Franklin. Rounding things out is the sensual neo soul feeling “Lingerie”. She switches up the mood elegantly as she croons in a seductive manner to a new lover about a potential nightcap.
All in all, Cuz I Love You is a balanced blend of confidence, self-love, and a sprinkle of pop magic. As well rounded of an artist as you will ever see, Lizzo is just the type of girl you root for. For the most part, she doesn’t come off as cocky as one might think, more so self-assured. Her style may be a little too much for some, but those who can find appreciation in her will absolutely LOVE and adore every ounce of her talent. She gives you a taste of everything she can do on this LP. Including inspiring the masses by simply being herself, and loving everything about it. Because at the end of the day, she knows her music is damn good. And no one can tell her any different. Why? Because that is the fire that makes Lizzo go, and Cuz I Love You proves just that.
“It’s Just a Matter of Time Till Everybody Loves Lizzo, As much as she loves herself.” – The cut
I couldn’t have said it better myself.