Lizzo Changed Lyrics of ‘Grrrls’ to Remove a Derogatory Term
Lizzo released her second track, ‘Grrrls,’ from her upcoming album Special on June 10, 2022.
Like her title track, ‘About Damn Time,’ which was released in April, ‘Grrrls’ was also trending, but for a very different reason.
The former track blew up on TikTok for its catchy lyrics, funky beat, and fun dance, while the latter drew criticisms from the differently-abled community.
The song originally contained the lyrics “Hold my bad bitch. Hold my bag. Do you see this [expletive]? I’m a spaz.”
The word spaz has its origin in the word spastics, a slur referring to people who suffer from spastic diplegia, a condition that affects motor control in the legs and is occasionally associated with mild brain damage.
Cambridge dictionary also defined spaz as “an offensive way of saying ‘a stupid person.'”
Lizzo Changes Lyrics
The lyrics drew complaints that the word spaz was a slur against those who were disabled. Netizens took to Twitter and called out the ‘Truth Hurts’ singer.
“Hey @lizzo my disability Cerebral Palsy is literally classified as Spastic Diplegia (where spasticity refers to unending painful tightness in my legs) your new song makes me pretty angry + sad, Spaz doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur,” one person tweeted.
After facing backlashes from fans, Lizzo changed the lyric and released a statement on social media on June 13, 2022.
Lizzo at the Met Gala 2022. (Source: Lizzo/Instagram)
The star released a new version of the song, omitting the derogatory term, and the new lyrics went,
“Hold my bad bitch. Hold my bag. Do you see this [expletive]? Hold me back. I’m about to knock somebody out, yo, where my best friend?”
Lizzo Apologizes and Is Commended for Prompt Action
In her statement on social media, she clarified that she never wanted to promote the derogatory language.
“As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hateful words used against me, so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally). I’m proud to say there’s a new version of GRRRLS with a lyric change,” said Lizzo.
She ended the statement positively, noting she listened and took action. As an influential artist, she was dedicated to being part of the change she had been waiting to see in the world.
Twitterati thanked the Grammy winner and commended her for listening and taking the matter seriously, calling her “a real true ally.”
“I learned about this word being ableist fairly recently too! It’s a cultural difference between the UK and NA I think. All we can do is apologize, learn and grow and it’s really great that you’re taking action,” wrote one user.
Her first single 'About Damn Time' climbed all the way to the No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B Songs chart. Will the new and improved 'Grrrls' power its way to the top as well? Only time will tell.