She's thirty-one years old, five-foot-ten. While performing songs she's written about love--rapping, belting operatic high notes, shimmying with her more than ample thighs on display--she expresses inner thoughts, like--"Don’t say it, ’cause I know I’m cute. It's been a journey, but I do love my fat."
Her music, straight-up hip-hop to guitar, is soul to funk-pop. It's joyous empowering feminism, large, boisterous and unapologetic, in a style that fits plus-size Lizzo, who declares, “My space is for all the big black girls in the future who just want to be seen.”
The fact is, Lizzo isn’t the only artist spreading a message of self-worth, body positivity, and unabashed female sexuality. Rappers such as Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill blazed a trail and their successors include Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, women whose messages flow from the cultural movements surrounding feminism, identity and visibility.
Growing up in Houston, she played a classical flute. In college, she played in the marching band and did some rapping; dropping out and living in a car after her father died, ended up in Minneapolis, doing five shows a week with an Indie group, released two records, and worked with Prince at his famous Paisley Park home.
Now, her first major-label recording is out--"Cuz I Love You" with Lizzo playing her flute onstage, switching from rapping to singing.
This video has had 22 million Spotify downloads.
It’s only recently, thanks to the music streaming boom and social media, that women in the world of hip-hop have been able to make their mark, like Cardi B, with her big hit, “Bodak Yellow” that has become a blue print for more artists to follow. But Lizzo says realistically, "Even if there’s a shift, we’re not at the mountaintop.”
With her good face and good voice easily transcending her repetitious lyrics and amateurish dancing in raunchy outfits, her passion to be herself and not try to adhere to the typical standards of feminine beauty, is wonderfully important.
Yes, as Lizzo does more albums and gets more famous, I think she will be a name, a big star, on the mountain top of her field.