Here’s what happens when you get to the top: friends, detractors, enemies, fans, and everyone in between is suddenly very happy to discuss how they helped with your success. This is the precarious position Lizzo sits in at the end of 2019, after experiencing one of the most intense and powerful come-ups of the year, she’s officially a star now, largely due to the slow-burning success of her No. 1 hit “Truth Hurts,” which has become a record-breaking smash.
Admitting that she got her inspiration for the iconic line about a DNA test from a meme, and adding credit for the writer of the initial tweet, Lizzo has also clapped back at old bandmates who have tried to get a piece in the same breath. If that isn’t picking your battles, I don’t know what is.
But, what so many of the people discussing her hit song don’t seem to realize is that Lizzo is not just successful because of that one single. Lizzo is the whole package, and nothing exemplifies that better than her 2019 album, Cuz I Love You. There are so many other songs on this album that could just as easily hit the top spot on the chart. So whether you love or hate “Truth Hurts,” why not dive a little deeper into her work to discover her next massive jam? Below is my personal, subjective ranking of five other songs off her new album that can and should hit that No. 1 spot.
5. “Better In Color”
In an interview with Apple Music, Lizzo talked about how the impetus for this song came from being attracted to just about everybody. More than that, she wanted to help normalize the idea that couples of all races, economic backgrounds, and sizes could co-exist happily. “I wanted to talk about love, attraction, and sex without talking about the boxes we put those things in,” she explained. “Who we feel like we’re allowed to be in love with… it shouldn’t be about that.” Given this message is coming from a woman who also spreads the word about body positivity, self-love, and empowering women to own and relish their sexuality, the song has already found a home with her core audience. But it’s a message that deserves the kind of national recognition that a No. 1 provides — and it’s still accessible enough, it could reach that milestone.
In my opinion, this is still the most hook-so-catchy-its-stuck-in-my-head song off Cuz I Love You. If there’s one message that continues to resonate whether or not you’re in a couple, it’s the message of self-love. The best way to be a great partner is to prioritize your own needs and mental health, and that framework stays the same if you’re single, too. But listening to Lizzo testify about the way she loves herself, listing off the qualities most of us would adore in a perfect partner, is a good reminder that being a single woman in America has and will continue to be seen as some sort of lesser state. Throw this song on and watch that stereotype twerk its way right out the door. Oh, and the Gemini dig is classic, too.
3. “Like A Girl”
This is my go-to song for a day when I need to be uplifted. “Like A Girl” turns an outdated trope about how women show up in the world on its head, and invokes historical milestones like a woman running for president without missing a beat. Full of hip-hop ad libs, percussion perfection and a ginormous, inescapable hook, just like all the best Lizzo songs, “Like A Girl” has the potential to reach No. 1 and chill there for a few weeks. With Lizzo up to bat, a woman working in the pop/hip-hop realm who is also ruling the chart will become the norm. You know, she’ll just keep topping the chart… like a girl.
For so many of us, “Juice” was the gateway drug to Lizzo fandom. I still remember when this throwback of a video dropped earlier this spring and immediately catapulted her from “some new singer” to “oh my god the next big star.” Based on the appeal of this song alone, I schlepped to Hollywood to catch her performing a private star-sign-themed event at Gold Diggers with astrologer Chani Nicholas, and then even further into the heart of the city to watch her bring the house down at a strip club. At the club was where she previewed the first track on this list for the first time, and hearing it all the way back then, even before the album came out, I knew I’d probably be a fan for life.
1. “Tempo” Feat. Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott is having the comeback she rightfully deserves. After a decade or so of being underappreciated for just how much she contributed to the worlds of pop, R&B, hip-hop, and navigating superstardom, in 2019 the world is bowing down just like they should’ve been all along, and few artists have been more vocal about the impact Missy had on them when it comes to representation than Lizzo. As a fellow woman of color and woman of size, Lizzo cited the importance of Missy’s work on her own artistry, while putting the legend on a track catchy enough to do justice to her excellent bars. If there is justice in the world, “Tempo” will climb the charts and eventually rule them. All we need is a viral dance craze, a huge celebrity personal life moment, or, possibly, an old town road. Lil Nas X where you at??
Lizzo is a Warner Music Group artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of WMG.