Lizzo has been hit with a plagiarism claim by producers Justin and Jeremiah Raisen over her hit song ‘Truth Hurts’, and its star lyric: “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m a 100% that bitch.”
The Raisen brothers’ claim centers on a demo titled ‘Healthy’ that came out of a songwriting session they had with Lizzo and two other writers, Jesse Saint John and Yves Rothman. In that song, Lizzo sang the ‘Truth Hurts’ lyric, which had been adapted from a tweet-turned-Instagram meme Saint John had showed the group, the New York Times reports.
Currently, only Lizzo, primary producer Ricky Reed, another producer Tele and Saint John are credited on ‘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’,” the Raisens wrote in a statement, which they both posted to Instagram along with a video that compares excerpts of both songs. Watch it below.
The Raisens claim they have been trying to resolve the dispute since 2017, the year ‘Truth Hurts’ was first released. “We’ve tried to sort this out quietly for the last two years, only asking for 5% [of the songwriting royalties] each but were shut down 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 Raisens also say that “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 and our own voices is something we thought she’d understand.” See the post and video in full below:
In a statement shared with the New York Times, Lizzo’s lawyer denied the producers’ claims: “The Raisens are not writers of ‘Truth Hurts’. 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.” That renounced claim refers to an earlier claim to ‘Truth Hurts’ that the Raisens rescinded through their publisher Kobalt, per the NYT.
Last month, ‘Truth Hurts’ became Lizzo’s first Number 1 single, two years after the song flopped on the charts upon release – a setback that the pop star has said almost caused her to quit music. The lyric “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m a 100% that bitch” has become something of a calling card for Lizzo, who has filed to trademark the phrase “100% that bitch”.
The line came from a tweet by the singer Mina Lioness, who has previously publicly expressed her displeasure at not being credited for it. In their statement, the Raisens acknowledged her contribution, and said that they will share proceeds with her should Reed and Lizzo settle the dispute with them.