Coming on smart, sassy, and strong, like an indie Missy Elliot, Minneapolis rapper and singer Lizzo arrived in the Twin Cities with a hard sound and stance, thanks to her Texas roots and time learning the ropes with crews like Atlanta's Crime Mob. Born Melissa Jefferson in Houston and raised in Detroit, Lizzo earned her moniker when she joined the uniformly named members -- Lexo, Nino, and Zeo -- of the Cornroll Clique. A 2011 move to Minneapolis found her fronting Lizzo & the Larva Ink while joining the neo-TLC-type group the Chalice. Her work began to intertwine with the city's indie scene, which included artists like Gayngs, Doomtree, Marijuana Deathsquads, and Har Mar Superstar; listening to a copy of Doomtree producer Lazerbreak's album Lava Breaks brought her out of a long case of writer's block.
Inspired by Lazerbreak's work, she recorded the album Lizzobangers with the producer plus Gayngs member Ryan Olson. The album was released in 2013 on the Totally Gross National Product label. After making guest appearances on tracks by Prince & 3rdEyeGirl ("Boytrouble"), Clean Bandit ("New Eyes"), Bastille ("Torn Apart"), and Sean Anonymous & DJ Name ("Cold Shoulder"), Lizzo released her second full-length album, 2015's Big GRRRL Small World, on her own BGSW label. In October 2016, Lizzo made her major-label debut with the EP Coconut Oil, which was released by Atlantic's Nice Life imprint. The following year saw her drop the singles "Water Me" and "Truth Hurts," with "Fitness" and "Boys" arriving the following year. In February 2019, Lizzo issued the title track from her full-length Cuz I Love You, whcih arrived later that April. ~ David Jeffries