If you haven’t heard of Lizzo yet, you’re truly missing out. On April 19, she released her third rap/R&B album and major label debut Cuz I Love You. It’s smart, fresh, and uproariously joyful from beginning to end.
The album starts with the single "Cuz I Love You," a powerful ballad that showcases Lizzo’s impressive range, and ends with "Lingerie," which slows down the tempo for a softer R&B tune. Each song in between jumps from one to the next with impressive cohesion, despite the diversity of the album as a whole.
Each song flaunts a different facet of the artist’s immense talent not only in terms of singing, but also in actual content. Lizzo covers loving, letting go, and embracing yourself with a refreshing sense of sincerity. Her songs connect to any person who has been in a relationship, single, or anything in between, but particularly anyone who identifies as plus-sized or a woman. She never falters in confidence or shies away from honesty in the diverse array of songs.
She makes it clear, however, that the “you” referred to in the title is ultimately herself. In her song "Soulmate," she sings “Yeah, I'm my own soulmate (Yeah, yeah)/No, I'm never lonely (Lonely)/I know I'm a queen but I don't need no crown/Look up in the mirror like damn she the one.” Even in songs such as "Cuz I Love You," with lyrics like “thought that I didn't care/I thought I was love-impaired/But baby, baby/I don't know what I'm gonna do/I'm crying 'cause I love you, oh” that address the all-encompassing nature of her relationships, the most important relationship is still with herself.
This work follows her previous two albums Lizzobangers and Big Grrrl Small World, as well as a highly acclaimed EP Coconut Oil. The Minnesota-based artist has previously occupied a more underground scene as a member of various rap groups. Throughout it all, she has been lauded as a body-positivity icon and is unapologetic about her race, intelligence, and self-love.
Lizzo has a lot to say about her own identity, how she relates to others, and, more importantly, her capability to do it well. Her voice is distinct and exciting in every song. Any tune could be a summer anthem, and all can certainly boost your mood. Her song "Like A Girl" is quirky and inclusive, celebrating the strength, vulnerability, and joy in femininity.
Lizzo has solidified herself among the greats, with 2019 proving to be a breakout year for her. There is no question as to whether she has the capacity to be considered one of the best artists out there. She effortlessly blends pop, rap, and R&B into whatever she needs it to be. She has created a place for herself in the mainstream where she can own her body-positive message, and she continues to elevate the standard for not only her own music, but also for everyone around her.