Dark Light

Released: 2022

“Grrrls” by Lizzo is a powerful anthem for female empowerment and camaraderie. It’s all about celebrating sisterhood, the strength of women when they band together, and confronting the challenges they face with confidence and fierceness.

Let’s kick this breakdown off with the lyrics, “Hold my bag, bitch / Hold my bag”. Lizzo commands an imaginary adversary to hold back or brace themselves, implying that she’s about to throw down and fight, a metaphor for confrontation and dealing with conflict head-on. “Do you see this shit? Hold me back / I’m about to knock somebody out” is a classic call out to an impending squabble and shows Lizzo’s readiness to face adversity.

She then asks “Yo, Where’s my best friend?”, showing the importance of her ‘ride or die’, her confidante who can reel her back in when things get too heated. Lizzo’s lines “‘Cause that’s my girl, we codependent / If she with it, then I’m with it” are a strong affirmation of women supporting each other, echoing cooperative survival and the reliance on a tight-knit support system.

Lizzo then presents the powerful image of a CEO, which carries significant cultural weight. It equates her and her girls to bosses, power players in their own right, when she spits “That’s my girl, we CEO’s / And dancing like a C-E-ho”. They control their own destiny while also embracing the freedom to enjoy themselves.

The chorus “Where my girls, where my girls at?” resonates as a rallying cry, seeking to unite her squad and empowering them to face any situation. She relishes in these confrontations as she sings “Yeah, this the type of fight I’m lookin’ for”, always ready to stand up and fight for what matters.

The line “Let me take these earrings off / And hit the boosie ratchet with my friends” references the cultural act of preparing for a physical fight, while “boosie ratchet” refers to a dance move popular in the south. This dual meaning shows Lizzo’s readiness to fight but also to let loose and have fun with her friends. Following this, Lizzo warns a potential male adversary by saying, “I’ma go Lorena Bobbitt on him so he never fuck again”, referencing the notorious case where Lorena Bobbitt retaliated against her abusive husband. This serves as a stark warning to disrespectful men: these women are not to be crossed.

The conclusion “Uh-huh, okay / Where my ladies at?” is a call to all women, not just her clique, implying the universality of her message. Lizzo’s “Grrrls” is a masterstroke of hip-hop, blending elements of female empowerment, unity, and defiance all wrapped up in a track that’s as fierce as it is catchy.