Sitting down for an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lizzo opened up about the stigma she has faced as a Black pop music artist. The 34-year-old artist expressed her thoughts when she answered questions related to her new documentary Love, Lizzo on HBO Max.
Lizzo was specifically asked to address the part of the documentary where she talks about facing backlash over her wardrobe and people saying her music is not Black enough. The “Truth Hurts” singer said such types of views are part of the stigma in pop music.
“Genre’s racist inherently. I think if people did any research they would see that there was race music and then there was pop music,” Lizzo told Entertainment Weekly. “Race music was their way of segregating Black artists from being mainstream, because they didn’t want their kids listening to music created by Black and brown people because they said it was demonic and yada, yada, yada.”
Lizzo had a lot more to say about the history of pop music.
“There were these genres created almost like code words: R&B, and then of course eventually hip-hop and rap was born from that. I think when you think about pop, you think about MTV in the ’80s talking about ‘We can’t play rap music’ or ‘We can’t put this person on our platform because we’re thinking about what people in the middle of America think’ — and we all know what that’s code for,” she said.
No matter how much backlash she faces, Lizzo doesn’t plan on changing anything.
“We forget that in the late ’80s and the early ’90s, there were these massive pop diva records that were sang by Black women like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey,” she said. “And I’m giving that same energy. I’m giving that same energy with a little bit of rap, and I think that people just have to get used to me.”
Lizzo expressed similar thoughts when she spoke with Vanity Fair in October.
“I am not making music for white people. I am a Black woman, I am making music from my Black experience, for me to heal myself [from] the experience we call life,” she told the publication. “If I can help other people, hell yeah. Because we are the most marginalized and neglected people in this country. We need self-love and self-love anthems more than anybody.”
The Grammy-winning artist is now once again reminding people that she will continue to remain authentic.
“I’ve got a friend who don’t like avocado but she likes guacamole; it don’t make no sense — but once you get used to something, it might be for you,” she said. “So for people who don’t like pop music or don’t like Black artists that make pop music, they may eventually like me. I might be guacamole to them. You just gotta get used to me because I’m making good s**t. You missing out.”