“Grrrls” by Lizzo 

Lizzo’s “Grrrls” is somewhat of an odd outing. The thesis sentiment revolves around Lizzo celebrating her sistren, i.e. this being a dance-based, female-empowerment song. But the way the vocalist illustrates her sisterhood in the first verse is by relaying a narrative where she’s about to beat another lady up, and it’s only Lizzo’s bestie who’s able to calm her down when she goes “off the deep end”.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Lizzo's Grrrls at Lyrics.org.

Then in the second verse, it appears as if she alludes to jumping a ‘boosie ratchet with her friends’. Put simply, Lizzo and her female homeys are on the verge of beating up another female. And then later in the passage, referencing “Lorena Bobbitt” and all, she alludes to, well, putting some poor guy in a position where he “can’t f*-k again”. And all lyrics considered, the implication would be that Lizzo’s “grrrls” are engaged in this assault also and that said dude is likely someone who cheated on her.

So one thing that is clear is that even if this is a female-empowerment piece, it isn’t one of those that is celebrating all women, so to speak. Instead, who the vocalist is specifically shouting out, once again, is her female homeys. Indeed a “grrrl” is basically defined as a young, strong, independent woman. And whereas Lizzo herself doesn’t delve too much into that definition, what is being insinuated is that she and her sistren are akin to boss chicks and represent as such when they’re in the club. Therefore once they get to ‘throwing them bows’, it would behoove fellow partygoers not to get into any type of confrontation with the lot.

Lyrics for Lizzo's "Grrrls"

Facts about “Grrrls”

This song samples an old Beastie Boys track titled “Girls” (1986) which Rick Rubin was involved in composing. As such he is credited as one of the writers of “Grrrls” alongside Lizzo and the following:

  • Beastie Boys’ member Ad-Rock
  • Theron Thomas
  • Pop Wansel
  • Blake Slatkin
  • Max Martin
  • Ilya
  • Benny Blanco

This track, as a product of Atlantic Records, was released on 10 June 2022. And it is from a Lizzo album called “Special”.

Believe it or not Lizzo – an artist whose career epitomizes the age of political correctness so to speak – has been thoroughly criticized for using the word “spaz” in this song. As such critics rationalize, “spaz” is the shortened form of “spastic”, with the latter being a term often associated with, say sufferers of cerebral palsy (i.e. connoting muscle spasms). What such arguments fail to acknowledge however is that “spaz” itself is not conventionally used in such a context. Instead it is a colloquialism, which has been in circulating for at least a couple of decades now, most commonly used to point to the idea of someone losing control, i.e. throwing a temper tantrum. And that is also the way Lizzo utilizes the term in the first verse, as the songstress follows up by noting that she’s “about to knock somebody out”.

Lizzo did not coin the phrase grrrl, but she’s perhaps the most prominent celebrity to make regular use of it. For instance, her second studio album is titled “Big Grrrl Small World” (2015). And earlier in 2022, she led a reality TV competition called Lizzo’s Watch Out of the Big Grrrls.


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