Lizzo is on the verge of becoming pop's next national treasure. Since the age of 14, the singer/rapper/non-stop twerker has been grinding hard and the work ethic is paying off tremendously. In part, due to some viral traction, the star has witnessed her career ascend to new heights in 2019, particularly with the Friday (April 19) release of her major label debut, Cuz I Love You, which seems to be the perfect introduction (or reintroduction for some) as she looms over the bubble of mainstream popularity.
Drenched in the same layers of charisma, charm and sass that she exudes while on stage, the new 11-track set is filled with high-energy anthems and odes to female empowerment, but there's something about the album that feels like it was everything that the Houston-born lyricist actually needed to say to herself. "Juice" and "Tempo" keep the party strong with sassy lines and bombastic production, but the not-so-underlying dynamic between Lizzo and her lyrics is void of any sort of self-righteousness. Take numbers like the celebratory "Like a Girl" or sing-a-long "Soulmates," for example. "I didn't want to be lonely anymore. I wanted to be my own soulmate. I wanted to be the best partner I could be to myself, so I didn't have to look for that in somebody else," Lizzo told iHeartRadio of the former's creation.
Cuz I Luv You also boasts noteworthy assists from X Ambassadors, Missy Elliott and Gucci Mane, but Lizzo manages to carry the project by herself with her flute in-tow. Confidence remains one of her biggest weapons on the 33-minute set — even when she's shedding tears. There are tears of joy. There are tears of sadness. But don't get it mistaken. While she knows how to navigate tear-jerking emotions, the album taps into several points across the spectrum, including a self-imposed moment of fate with Big Guwop, f**kboy love, and, what Lizzo describes as Aretha Franklin rap. "I'm the executive producer of this album, so I'm proud of that credit. I put a lot of hard work into this album," she explained. "I bossed up and did a lot of boss moves. I called a huge meeting when I decided the album was done. No one decided the album was done before me. I made the track list. I did that."
Meanwhile, its artwork sees a nude Lizzo sitting on the floor, with her hair dripping down her side to offer viewers yet another side to the genre-hopping star. Yes, she knows how to add signature sparkle to almost anything, but considering the venerability of the record, the soft imagery feels fittings. Asked about stripping away her clothes, the 30-year-old doesn't remember who came up with the idea, but going naked seemed like the best bet. "Every time we tried to put some clothes or jewelry in, it just didn't work. It's all about my skin [being] the best accessory," she said.
For more detailed insight on Lizzo's new album, Cuz I Love You, scroll on below to watch our latest installment of "Track By Track."
Photo: Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio