Lizzo on the Creation of ‘Cuz I Love You’: “What if Aretha Franklin Put Out a Rap Album?”

The award-winning singer discussed her inspiration.

Lizzo recently sat with Brazil’s TV FOLHA in her first interview since winning three Grammy awards. The Houston-born singer/rapper talked about societal double standards, Prince’s influence, and more. Watch the full interview above.

The interviewer noted that Aretha Franklin was a major inspiration for her music. In turn, Lizzo offered a story about the creation of Cuz I Love You.

READ: Now That Lizzo Has the No. 1 Song in the Country, Will She Get the Respect She Deserves?

“Her first major album, I Never Loved A Man, she put out at Atlantic Records. [She was] the same age I was when I dropped Cuz I Love You on Atlantic Records. All of a sudden it just clicked. I was like ‘okay, I’m not this swag rapper, I want to be like the greats, I want to be like Aretha.’ I set my mind on that in the studio. I said ‘what if Aretha Franklin put out a rap album in 2019? What would it sound like? And all 2018 I worked so hard to do that, and I wanted her to hear it so bad. That’s always my goal.”

Unfortunately, Franklin passed away nearly a month before the album was released. “I still had that motivation,” she said. “This is for Aretha. We are all lucky and blessed to be alive at the same time she was.”

Cuz I Love You went on to win Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards.


Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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