Lizzo is facing a plagiarism claim over her Number One hit “Truth Hurts.” Songwriting brothers Justin and Jeremiah Raisen claim that they were part of an early writing session that produced the memorable line, “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that bitch.”
In an Instagram post from Tuesday, Justin Raisen claimed that Lizzo, his brother Jeremiah, Jesse Saint John and Yves Rothman penned a tune called “Healthy” in April 2017 while in Raisens’ studio and that the song contained the exact line in question.
“We were never contacted about being credited for the use of the parts of ‘Healthy’ (melody, lyrics, and chords) that appear in ‘Truth Hurts,'” he wrote on Instagram.
Lizzo, producer Ricky Reed, producer Tele and Jesse Saint John are listed in the official credits for “Truth Hurts.”
“After reaching out to Ricky Reed and Lizzo’s team about fixing it, we put the song in dispute in 2017 when it came out,” Raisen continued in his post. “We’ve tried to sort this out quietly for the last two years, only asking for 5% each but were shutdown every time. Coming forward publicly to family, friends, artists, and colleagues seems to be the only way at this point in relieving some of our emotional distress caused by this.”
Reps for Lizzo and the Raisen brothers did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s requests for comment. In a statement to New York Times, Cynthia S. Arato, a lawyer for Lizzo, denied the Raisens’ claim. “The Raisens are not writers of ‘Truth Hurts,'” Arato said in the statement. “They did not collaborate with Lizzo or anyone else to create this song, and they did not help write any of the material that they now seek profit from, which is why they expressly renounced any claim to the work, in writing, months ago.”
As New York Times reports, the dispute is complicated by the fact that the Raisens’ revoked their claim over “Truth Hurts” via their publisher Kobalt.
The Raisens are not the only ones who believe they deserve writing credit for “Truth Hurts.” In Raisen’s post, he gave a shout-out to singer Mina Lioness, for tweeting the line “I did a DNA test and found out I’m 100% that bitch” in February 2017. “A meme of that came up in our writing session & inspired the lyric and melody we wrote together.”
In August, Lioness tweeted about the issue, writing, “If she thought I had the autonomy to truly challenge her and assert my rights.. She would have given me my writers credit.” In February 2018, Lioness and Lizzo exchanged tweets. “We didn’t have the same idea, it was my tweet that was taken from Twitter and put into a song,” Lioness wrote, adding, “Now everyone believes those were your words, when in fact they were mine. My creativity, my wit and my comedy.”
“‘Truth Hurts’ was written in June FYI— someone made a meme on IG that said ‘I’m 100% that bitch’ and we were inspired, I give that meme credit when I talk about making the song,” Lizzo tweeted in response. “I’ve never seen ur viral tweet but I’m glad it exists.”