Lizzo Accused of Plagiarizing "Truth Hurts"
The dispute is over the "100% that bitch" line
Songwriters and producers Justin and Jeremiah Raisen took to Instagram on Tuesday (October 15) to accuse Lizzo of stealing melodies, lyrics and chords — including the iconic line: "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100% that bitch."
That line also opens a song called "Healthy," which was co-written by the Raisens and Lizzo on April 11, 2017.
They claim that Lizzo used that same line in her own song "Truth Hurts" later that year, but the other songwriters were never contacted about receiving credits. "Truth Hurts" later appeared as a bonus track on 2019's Cuz I Love You and recently hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts for six weeks.
The Raisens say that they reached out to Lizzo and "Truth Hurts" producer Ricky Reed about "fixing it" back in 2017 and have continued to pursue it, asking for 5 percent each of the song's profits. However, they claim their requests have repeatedly been shut down.
In an attempt to give credit where credit is allegedly due, the Raisens also said that the line was originally taken from a 2017 tweet by singer Mina Lioness — who they want to share profits with should Lizzo and Reed settle up with them.
In February 2018, in fact, Mina Lioness tweeted at Lizzo, stating, "We didn't have the same idea, it was my tweet that was taken from Twitter and put into a song.... Now everyone believes those were your words, when in fact they were mine. My creativity, my wit and my comedy."
In the Raisens Instagram post, they write, "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."
In response to the allegations, Lizzo's lawyer Cynthia S. Arato issued the following statement to the New York Times: "The Raisens are not writers of 'Truth Hurts.'" She continued, "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, which is why they expressly renounced any claim to the work, in writing, months ago."
In addition to the lengthy post, the Raisens also shared audio clips of both songs, separately and then layered on top of each other. Listen for yourself below.
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