A Los Angeles songwriter is accusing Lizzo of using his lyrics, melody, and chords in her hit song "Truth Hurts" without crediting or compensating him.
Justin Raisen says he and his brother Jeremiah collaborated with Lizzo, and fellow songwriters Jesse St. John and Yves Rothman at his studio on April 11, 2017 to create a song titled "Healthy" that opens using with Lizzo singing "I just did a DNA test turns out I'm 100% that bitch." Despite the fact that two years later, when that same catch phrase was later used during the opening of Lizzo's hit single "Truth Hurts," Raisen said he was never credited or compensated for his contribution. He said the two songs also share the same melody and chords.
Raisen says in a lengthy Instagram post that he has tried for two years to quietly resolve the dispute and to get Lizzo's team to properly credit him, asking for 5% for both him and his brother Jeremiah, but that he has been "shutdown every time." He says he hoped the Lizzo who "preaches believing in ourselves & our voices" would be willing to do the right thing and didn't want to go public to "throw any negativity toward Lizzo's momentum and movement as a cultural figure."
Additionally, Raisen says London singer Mina Lioness, who tweeted "I just did DNA test turns our I'm a 100% that bitch" on Feb. 24, 2017, also deserves to be compensated. He acknowledges that a meme of Lioness' tweet came up in their writing session and inspired the lyric to be included in the song he wrote with Lizzo. He said if Lizzo's team does agree to settle this dispute that he plans on sharing some of the proceeds with Mina for her contribution.
Following Raisen's decision to publicly air his complaint, an attorney for Lizzo told Billboard in a written statement that the brothers did not contribute "any of the material" in the hit track, and have previously confirmed their non-involvement in writing.
"The Raisens are not writers of 'Truth Hurts,'" said Cynthia Arato, of Shapiro Arato Bach. "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. Although it has become all too commonplace for successful artists to be subjected to these type of opportunistic claims, it is nevertheless disappointing that after all of her hard work, Lizzo has to respond to this specious claim."
This article has been updated to include a statement from Lizzo's attorney.