This week, everyone's favorite pop hitmaker, Lizzo, deservedly entered the Top 10 on the revered Billboard Hot 100 Chart with her 2017 track, "Truth Hurts." One detail that's easy to look amid the celebration is the role that a little lip-syncing app called TikTok has played in launching the song into the mainstream.
If you've ever opened TikTok, you've heard a portion of the opening of "Truth Hurts." Lizzo starts the first verse: "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100% that bitch." It's a one-line earworm that takes both modern phrasing and a cleverly crafted cadence into account, rather than focusing on melody. The emphasized syllables in the line act as proverbial head swivels and cocky shoulder swings, recorded as if she was wanting drag queens everywhere to lip sync the song at a local gay bar. Not only did she get the drag queens, but children, teens, families, and even dogs to bop along.
Most of the TikTok videos of people lip syncing to the track show them taking the #DNATest Challenge, where users take a cotton swab to the mouth to show that they are "100%"-something. Some take the classic route and remain "100% that bitch," but the most viral of the lot have put their own spin on the track.
So, let's just accept it: Lizzo is the resident queen of TikTok. Her reign doesn't stop at "Truth Hurts," though. Her 2018 song "Boys" is blowing up on the platform as well, specifically the song's second verse. She begins that verse in "Boys" similarly to "Truth Hurts" with a one-liner earworm, singing stuntedly, "I like big boys, itty bitty boys." Lizzo's ability to craft these meme-able melodies is what is ultimately skyrocketing her upwards on the charts.
More than songs, she creates moments that are repetitious and infectious — moments you shout along to in the car with your friends as well as front row at her concert. Lizzo effectively acts as a chart-topping liaison to virality in this way, beyond just existing as an artist on the radio. Lil Nas X was able to do the same thing, with users posting yeehaw meme after yeehaw meme on TikTok, so much so that "Old Town Road" has secured the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for a near-record breaking number of weeks.
All hail the current reigning Queen of TikTok, Lizzo. I wonder which track off Cuz I Love You will take off next?