Alternative rap artist and MC Lizzo, has teamed up with pioneering female MC Missy Elliott for track “Tempo,” for her upcoming debut album Cuz I Love You which will be released this April. This track follows up her first single “Juice,” which was released this January.
“Tempo,” opens up with a blistering guitar rip, before going into catchy trap beat, with Lizzo rapping about her body positivity, and female empowerment message. “All means necessary/My ass is not an accessorary(sic)” she jokingly raps throughout the second verse of the track. Miss Elliott introduces the track with a bang, also rapping about the positives of being “thicc,” over “skinny hoes.”
Although Lizzo got her start in the Twin Peaks hip hop scene, joining a part of various indie hip hop and R&B groups, the release of her 2016 EP Coconut Oil launched her into prominence. She is well-known for genre-bending taking influences from atypical music styles and blending it into her own unique form of hip hop as well.
“I make all different types of music,” Lizzo explained to the Guardian during an interview at a buffet. “You see here, we got pineapples, we got croissants, we got sausages – which one you like? I feel like when you’re good at doing a lot of different styles, it hard to stick with one.” After working on the album for three years, this summer she finally laid down the songs that will make the cut. “I hit my stride. It was about embracing my singing voice.”
Lizzo’s diverse musical style also emerged from her experience as a piccolo and flute player for her junior high band and high school marching band. This, along with her musically gifted family, helped foster her love for all music, and eventually hip hop as she grew older.
“I was in marching band from eighth grade all the way up until college, the Cougar marching band at University of Houston. I was a piccolo player,” Lizzo explained in an interview with NPR. “I was the baddest piccolo in the land, ’cause I got big lungs. And I was really determined. I rented the flute, and I just started listening to James Galway and songs on the radio, really trying to sound good and be the best.”
Her unique stage presence, style and look have gained her a large, yet diverse following from many women of color to the LGBT community as well. While she doesn’t necessarily claim that her music has a political slant, beyond her own honest expression, she has criticized what many have begun calling “wokenomics,” where companies appropriate socially progressive ideals for their brands as a marketing tactic.
“It’s unfair for us to assume that people know how to love themselves … [corporations have] spent decades telling people they weren’t good enough and selling them an ideal of beauty,” Lizzo further explained in the Guardian interview. “All of a sudden you’re selling them self-love? People don’t know how to love themselves, because they were trying to look like the motherfucker you were selling them!”