Lizzo on feminism, Blondie and Miley Cyrus

Minneapolis rapper speaks to Clash...
Lizzo

About to see her debut solo album ‘Lizzobangers’ get a major-label push through Virgin in April, rising rapper Lizzo has been chatting to Clash about all sorts of things, from lemons and sausages (maybe don’t ask) to chronic shyness and teenage girlbands.

As someone with some powerful lyricism in her set, supporting the position of women in not only music but the whole damn world, we thought we’d ask Lizzo what she made of Blondie being the first female(-fronted) act to receive the NME Godlike Genius Award, since the category was introduced 20 years ago, and about Miley Cyrus’ claim that she’s one of the “biggest feminists”. And this is what she told us:

“I think that feminism is fairness. If it’s okay for a man to be on stage, shaking his butt with a bunch of scantily clad booty dancers, wearing all these chains or whatever, then it’s okay for a woman to do the same without being slut-shamed. So when Miley Cyrus calls herself a feminist, I can’t say that’s false. Because what’s there in her mind, you can’t know, and if a dude was acting like she does on stage, you’d say that’s an alpha male.

“The only issue is whether or not she’s being true to herself. If you’re true to yourself as a person, when you’re performing, and that’s still how you want to act, then more power to you. That is feminism. But if you’re doing it for shock value, that’s something else.

“Do I feel comfortable being a positive influence? Well, there are so many little girls who look up to people like Miley, and others who do things that I wouldn’t do. I mean, you’re not gonna see me in a tiny top and some bikini bottoms, but that’s because I’m not as comfortable with my body as Miley is hers. I am more than happy with being a role model, but within that role I also need to be supportive of other women who are making changes.

“I’m not saying that what Miley is doing right now is making any kind of change, but I hope that later down the line she will, with her voice. Everyone needs to find themselves, and she’s just 20 or something. When I was 20…? Let’s not even talk about it! So I think, being a feminist, I can’t bash anybody. All I can do is celebrate Blondie. I don’t want to ask why a female winning that award’s not happened before, I can just be happy that it has happened, and that it continues to happen.”

Go Lizzo! No, seriously, we love Lizzo. So look out for a full feature on her in the near future on these very pages. And in the meantime check out her breakthrough single ‘Batches And Cookies’ and new track ‘Faded’ on its 1Xtra first play, below.

Shout out to Sophia Eris for complimenting Clash's salt-and-pepper hair. Everything's getting older. The Lazerbeak- and Ryan Olsen-produced 'Lizzobangers' is released through Virgin on April 14th.

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Lizzo online

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