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Released: 2019

“Truth Hurts” by Lizzo is an unapologetic power anthem, where our leading lady serves up a hefty dose of self-love and independence. The track is an audacious confrontation of a past lover, filled with criticism of his shortcomings and a celebration of her own self-worth.

The song opens with, “Why men great ’til they gotta be great?” Lizzo questions the inconsistency shown by men who seem impressive at first but falter when it comes to being accountable. The word ‘great’ in this context, is equivalent to being capable or responsible. It’s about fellas who talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.

“I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch” – In this iconic line, ‘that bitch’ refers to being a strong, independent woman who stands her ground. Lizzo is affirming her confidence and value, even in dealing with the emotional fallout from breakups.

Lines like, “You’re supposed to hold me down/But you’re holding me back,” outline Lizzo’s frustrations with her ex’s detrimental impact on her life. He should have been her support system (‘hold me down’), instead he was a hindrance (‘holding me back’). The subsequent, “And that’s the sound of me not calling you back” is her assertion of breaking off, leaving the toxicity behind.

Lizzo repeats the poignant question, “Why men great ’til they gotta be great?” and follows up with, “Don’t text me, tell it straight to my face.” This is a direct call-out urging her ex to have the courage to speak up openly, rather than hide behind the digital façade of texting.

“Best friend sat me down in the salon chair / Shampoo press, get you out of my hair” sums up an empowering image of resilience and renewal, quite literally washing the man out of her hair. The phrase “Get you out of my hair” is a common idiomatic expression indicating the desire to get rid of a persistent and annoying problem.

There’s a reference to a new love interest in the line “New man on the Minnesota Vikings”. This could be interpreted as an upgrade – professional athletes, especially those in NFL teams like the Vikings, are often viewed as top-tier potential partners. It simultaneously serves as a balance to the line “Truth hurts, needed something more exciting”, suggesting that she’s moved on to greener, more interesting pastures.

Lizzo’s direct challenge, “I don’t play tag, bitch I been it”, reflects her refusal to be treated as an afterthought or a second option (‘a side chick’) and an affirmation of her innate value. The line “We just keep it pushing like aye, aye, aye” reveals a headstrong, persistent mindset – a refusal to get bogged down by negatives and a commitment to keep moving forward.

“Truth Hurts” is an anthem of self-love, empowerment, and resilience, navigating the aftermath of a bad relationship, and emerging not just victorious, but greater and stronger.

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