Lizzo is on the defensive over accusations she jacked lyrics for her chart-topping hit “Truth Hurts.”
Lizzo’s song “Truth Hurts” has become nearly inescapable, showing up everywhere from Netflix movies to Hillary Clinton tweets. The song is powerful and catchy, and part of the reason the rapper/singer has quickly risen to superstardom. There is now a dispute developing, however, over the origin of the song’s first line, “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that b*tch.”
Songwriters and brothers Justin and Jeremiah Raisen claim they were involved in writing the line for a demo called “Healthy” early on in Lizzo’s career and were denied credit once aspects of “Healthy” were used to create the hit, “Truth Hurts.”
The official credits behind “Truth Hurts” include Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, her producer Ricky Reed, a producer named Tele, and Jesse Saint John. The Raisen brothers have decided to go public with their desire to be credited for the song, and in doing so, are presumably making claims on their share of the potentially multimillion-dollar hit.
Cynthia S. Arato, Lizzo’s lawyer, issued a statement firmly denying the claims, saying, “They did not collaborate with Lizzo or anyone else to create this song, and they did not help write any of the material that they now seek to profit from…”
Further complicating the issue of originality and lyrical ownership, the Raisen brothers admit that the phrase in question was taken from a meme, which was inspired by a tweet. The issue of who owns the rights to the phrase would probably never be discussed if it wasn’t for the dollar amount attached to the lyrics.
Lizzo has already applied for a trademark for “100% That B*tch”, and is currently profiting from merchandise featuring the phrase being sold on her website. The Raisen brothers have posted a video that they say proves that “Truth Hurts” was developed from elements of “Healthy.”
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The Truth about “Truth Hurts” On April 11th, 2017, we wrote a song called “Healthy” w/ Lizzo, Jesse St John, and Yves Rothman at our studio. “I just took a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that bitch” was taken from “Healthy” and used in “Truth Hurts”. We were never contacted about being credited for the use of the parts of “Healthy” (melody, lyrics, and chords) that appear in “Truth Hurts”. After reaching out to Ricky Reed and Lizzo’s team about fixing it, we put the song in dispute in 2017 when it came out. We’ve tried to sort this out quietly for the last two years, only asking for 5% each but were shutdown every time. Coming forward publicly to family, friends, artists, and colleagues seems to be the only way at this point in relieving some of our emotional distress caused by this. The last thing we want to do is throw any negativity toward Lizzo’s momentum and movement as a cultural figure. If we believe in what she’s preaching, believing in ourselves & our own voices is something we thought she’d understand. Shout out to the singer Mina Lioness ( @minalioness ) for tweeting “I just did a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that bitch”. A meme of that came up in our writing session & inspired the lyric and melody we wrote together. If Ricky and Lizzo’s team decide to settle this dispute with us, we would like to share some of the proceeds with Mina for her influence on Healthy. The clip below shows a video & photos from the day we wrote “Healthy” along with the comparisons between the two works. All the Love, Justin & Jeremiah Raisen #lizzo #truthhurts #healthy #billboard