We’ve been hyping her here in Minnesota for five years, but we won’t begrudge Rolling Stone or the rest of the world for now hyping Lizzo as a newcomer to watch.
The magazine’s newsmaking Eric Church-fronted issue hitting stands this week touts the ex-Minneapolis rapper/singer/provocateur as one of “10 Artists You Need to Know.” Featured on the enviable list alongside the likes of raging U.K. punks Dream Wife, eclectic New Orleans ensemble Tank & the Bangas and newly amped-up Americana tunesmith Amanda Shires – cool beans: eight of the 10 acts are women or led by women – Lizzo gets props for “fusing a love of pop, rap, rock and funk into a sound of her own.”
The magazine homes in on her quick rise in Minneapolis – including her 2014 collaboration with Prince --after moving here from Houston to get out of a funk in 2010, although the piece doesn’t mention the group she was in when she first gained attention, the Chalice. “Within a year, I was playing First Avenue,” she coolly brags.
A lengthier Q&A featured on the magazine’s website also finds her addressing her stint as a TV judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (“You learn so much just by watching the way RuPaul operates,” she said), her revealing, body-image-reshaping photos and videos (“I feel like I’m on a mission”) and her move to Los Angeles almost two years ago (“obligatory”).
“I moved here for two reasons, none of them because I wanted to be here,” she told the interviewer. “I have so much anxiety, and always get weirded out living in places that are on fault lines. But here I am. I moved out here because I was working on [her 2016 EP] 'Coconut Oil' and I had gotten a gig hosting the show 'Wonderland.' I was like, ‘This is temporary,’ but two years later I’m setting up shop in Echo Park.”
One thing we will begrudge Rolling Stone for is saying she is “working on her first full-length album;” as if the two rather ambitious and arduously promoted records she made here in flyover country -- 2013’s “Lizzobangers” (with Doomtree’s Lazerbeak) and 2015’s “Big Grrrl, Small World” -- don’t count. But who’s keeping score?