Lizzo Calls Out 'Racist Origin' Of Pop Music And Discusses Segregation Of Black Artists

lizzo pop music inherently racist stigma
Lizzo Calls Out Pop Music For 'Inherent' RacismTim Mosenfelder - Getty Images

Lizzo has aired her thoughts on the stigma of pop music and how race music has been used to divide Black artists.

The 34-year-old, who dropped her fourth studio album, Special, in July, told Entertainment Weekly of 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.

'And 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 pop music inherently racist stigma
Timothy Norris - Getty Images

She elaborated further, likening genres in music to code words, and highlighted that R&B preceded the birth of hip-hop and rap.

Lizzo continued: 'I think when you think about pop, you think about MTV in the 1980s 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 added that due to pop now being a 'well-oiled' genre, it's important to remember its 'racist origin'. 'Rap is running the game,' she said.

The Emmy-winning artist noted that it's 'so cool' that hip-hop and rap artists have delved into pop music, adding: 'Rap is running the game.'

The former ELLE UK cover star, whose latest album features hit songs, including the 2022 summer anthem 'About Damn Time', referred to the backlash she's faced from people who think her music isn't Black enough.

She said: 'I think anything that’s new, people are going to criticise and feel like it’s not for them.

lizzo pop music inherently racist stigma
Kevin Winter - Getty Images

'But once you get used to something, it might be for you. So for people who don’t like pop music or don’t like Black artists that make pop music, they may eventually like me.

'You just gotta get used to me because I’m making good sh*t. You missing out.'

Addressing race in her 2015 song 'My Skin', Lizzo sings: 'I wear my flaws on my sleeve and my skin like a peacoat. I see someone like me ashamed to be.'

In her September cover interview with ELLE UK, she addressed her current 12-track album, stating: 'All of these incredible songs are giving people the language to express themselves and to have a release after everything they’ve experienced.

'I spent years being ashamed. It took a lot of work for me to feel worthy of being in this place. To feel worthy of being a force to be reckoned with.'

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