Alternative R&B and hip hop performer Lizzo has officially addressed the plagiarism claims made by Justin Raisen, Jeremiah Raisen, and Justin “Yves” Rothman, surrounding her hit song “Truth Hurts.” After addressing the controversy on social media, the performer filed a lawsuit against the accusers, which seeks “‘a judicial declaration’ that the Raisens and Rothman ‘did not co-author ‘Truth Hurts,’ and have no right to co-own that work or to share in its profits.”
“Today we filed a lawsuit on Lizzo’s behalf to establish, in a court of law, that the Raisens are not writers of ‘Truth Hurts’ and have no right to profit from the song’s success,” the suit claims. “The Raisens did not collaborate with Lizzo or anyone else to create the 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, as the lawsuit makes abundantly clear.”
The Raisens and Rothman claim that Lizzo used the “melody, lyrics, and chords” of a song they worked on together called “Healthy.” for the hit song. Lizzo has denied these claims, statimg on social media: “The men who claim a piece of ‘Truth Hurts’ did not help me write any part of the song. They had nothing to do with the line or how I chose to sing it.There was no one in the room when I wrote ‘Truth Hurts,’ except me, Ricky Reed, and my tears. That song is my life, and its words are my truth.”
— #STREAMTRUTHHURTS (@lizzo) October 23, 2019
Despite denying these plagiarism accusations, Lizzo has given credit to singer Mina Lioness, for helping inspire the song’s most famous lyric: “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that bitch.” This line was inspired by a February 2017 tweet from Lioness that read, “I did a DNA test and found out I’m 100% that bitch.” Lizzo originally found that line in a meme, not knowing that it had come from Lioness’ tweet, but later credited the performer after discovering the meme’s origins.
Lizzo’s attorney’s further claimed that the Raisen’s and Rothman withdrew any claims to the hit song months ago, an allegation that the other party has vehemently denied. They have also further alleged that their claims were a bad faith effort, as “Truth Hurts,” landed at number one on the Billboard charts earlier this year, despite being over two years old. Her lawyers have pointed out that this was a bad faith effort, as the plagiarism claims started to come to the forefront after the single became a commercial hit.
“Despite their clear, unequivocal, and repeated renunciations, this September the Raisens purported to “reinstate” their wholly unfounded claims—after they saw “Truth Hurts” become a hit and in a bad faith effort to capitalize on Lizzo’s success. The Raisens, moreover, embarked on an escalating campaign of harassment against Lizzo and others involved in “Truth Hurts,” threatening to “go public” unless they receive an unwarranted share of this work.”
The Raisen’s countered with their own statement, explaining that they have disputed for right over the song since it’s release in 2017. “After reaching out to [‘Truth Hurts’ co-writer and co-producer] 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 [five percent] each but were shutdown every time,” the Raisens’ explained.