By Jake Paxton
From Lizzo with love comes the solo artist’s first full-length album, Big GRRRL, Small World, a record where Lizzo beats the competition to the punch by laying her flaws on the table, taking pride in them. In her lyrics, the listener gets the idea that she has surpassed her struggles and now has a nearly narcissistic self-confidence. The album features the work of a myriad of producers, all represented in the title of each track, a commendable addition. The album can be classified as rap, yet features some interesting musical shifts.
The album begins with heavy hitters “Ain’t I” and “Betcha”, two tracks which showcase the female artist’s ability to listen to the radio and replicate it. In her world, she is your personal fantasy shown in lines such as “Google my name and jack off in a tissue”. The tracks are crude and attention-getting, ready to get thrown on the radio, chopped up by censors to where you don’t know what the song is about.
The LP flows into “Ride”, a song about escaping with “the crew” to get some solitude. Her pride is in the exclusivity of her private getaway. The production sounds a bit like 90s R&B and features some of the first atypical sampling on the record; however the first part of the album where production really shines is the next track “Humanize,” which features a complete shift. The track backs away from the typical amelodic rap flow and showcases Lizzo’s singing range. The track is, dare I say it, haunting and welcome guest.
Amidst the rest of the record’s content is the single “My Skin”. This track is perhaps the most representative of her message, chronicling her battle with body issues and her eventual victory of sorts. The track opens with a quick sound-bit of Lizzo saying a few words about her struggle and learning to love your image and the person beneath it. It’s a necessary message for folks in a time where depression and self-harm is at its peak.
What else can be said about the album Big GRRRL, Small World? It features a few interesting ideas and has a recurring positive message of being comfortable in your own skin strung together by a lot of lyrics that help it blend in to the crudeness of the rap genre’s success pool. Throw it on and get to twerkin’, if that’s what you’re into.