Album Review: Lizzo—“Coconut Oil”

By Savana James, Feature Photo via Idolator

With her newest release Coconut Oil, Lizzo is the indie hip-hop queen who is sure to take over all your future party playlists. This EP is a triumph for Lizzo, a self-proclaimed “big fine bitch” and “fat feminist” who perfectly encapsulates that message track by track. Coconut Oil is perfectly addictive, every song creating a soundscape of unfiltered joy, as Lizzo celebrates all that she is: strong, black, and beautiful.  

This album has a well-crafted sound, her genre fluctuating throughout the record between big brassy vocal anthems to club jams with tight hip-hop flows. What makes this EP truly great is its content: stories of the joy and beauty found in black womanhood. Black women are exactly who this EP is for. Lizzo noted in her interview with Rolling Stone that the title track, “Coconut Oil,” was dedicated to the black women who loved her music in a way she had never experienced with her white fans. She calls Coconut Oil something that “celebrated that, and also celebrated myself.” 

A celebration is the perfect way to describe an album that presents anthem after anthem. Songs like “Worship Me,” a track about demanding the love you deserve, or “Coconut Oil,” an almost gospel track about being at peace with yourself maintain the EP’s themes of love and confidence. Her music videos present the same types of message. Her club jam “Phone” features black plus-sized dancers serving looks alongside a chorus of gay men as they vogue the night away. “Good as Hell” is another dance party, a music video that’s a celebration of the beauty of black women and their hair. Lizzo is creating the type of content that celebrates big women, black women, and anyone else who wants to join the party.

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For me, this celebration culminates on the track “‘Scuse Me.” It’s sexy and fun; a track about staring in the mirror and loving everything you see. Note the iconic lyrics: feelin’ like a stripper when I’m lookin in the mirror / I be slappin on that ass / gettin thicker and thicker. The message and vibe is reminiscent of the way Beyonce’s “Flawless” impacted girls everywhere in 2013. But unlike Beyoncé’s feminist war cry, “‘Scuse Me” presents a slow, sultry type of proclamation. What makes this track revolutionary to me is that it’s about the love of her bigger body- and is done in a way that is equal parts sexy and unapologetic. This song feels like a revolution, and like a celebration that should be happening more often. Songs that encourage self-love are always important, but on “Coconut Oil,” Lizzo creates anthems for women to a new caliber.

There is something beautiful about watching women, especially black women, celebrate and love themselves in art and music. Lizzo is an artist who purely and joyfully celebrates all that she is in every single song. This EP will make you laugh and dance as you experience every ounce of black girl joy Lizzo has to offer. Magic like this can be rare and hard to find, but Coconut Oil is a slice of light that is all that, and then some. (Atlantic Recording Corporation)

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Comments
One Response to “Album Review: Lizzo—“Coconut Oil””
  1. Esteban G says:

    Saw Lizzo at Stubbs BBQ in Austin over ACL weekend; everyone was vibing to her music and I dare say she got all the shapes and colors of people rockin and groovin. Thanks for a great show Lizzo!

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