The battle over “Truth Hurts” took a new turn on Friday. Songwriters Justin and Jeremiah Raisen along with Justin “Yves” Rothman recently filed a countersuit in response to self-proclaimed “bop star” Lizzo’s 2019 lawsuit. All three men want credit and royalties for allegedly coining several lyrics in the song.
The Raisen brothers argue that they penned the viral line: “I just took a DNA test turns out I’m 100 percent that b*tch.” Lizzo claims the line came from a viral tweet in 2017 by Mina Lioness.
Unfortunately for Lizzo, it may be harder to disprove the Raisens and Rothman than she thinks.
The fight for copyright began in 2017 when “Truth Hurts” was released. However, legal issues did not become public knowledge until 2019, when the Raisen brothers took to social media to call Lizzo out.
Lizzo was quick to respond on Twitter, stating “that song is my life, and it’s words are my truth.” She then filed a lawsuit against them and Rothman and sought a declaratory judgement, in the hopes that the songwriters would have no claim to “Truth Hurts.”
Lizzo, born Melissa Viviane Jefferson, has been in the music industry for a long time. She slowly gained traction from 2010 to 2015 and signed with Atlantic Records in 2016. When she released “Truth Hurts” in 2017, it didn’t have much success.
It wasn’t until the release of her 2019 album Cuz I Love You that Lizzo was thrust into the spotlight. With this surge of popularity, her 2017 single “Truth Hurts” finally had its moment and became a No. 1 hit.
After the Raisen brothers posted on social media about the copyright feud in 2019, Lizzo revealed where she allegedly got her inspiration for the iconic DNA lyric.
She claimed to have seen a meme in 2017 that highlighted the quote. Apparently, she later found out that the meme came from a viral tweet coined by Mina Lioness, which reads “I did a DNA test and found out I’m 100% that b*tch.”
It’s worth noting that Lizzo originally denied that Mina’s tweet was the source of it all. In 2017, she said “I’ve never seen this before in my life…that’s crazy.”
Once the 2019 allegations came to light and Lizzo revealed where the inspiration allegedly came from, however, she put her money where her mouth is and made Mina a co-writer. Mina tweeted in October 2019 “I just took a DNA Test, turns out I’m a credited writer for the number one song on Billboard.”
The Raisen brother’s countersuit could mean big trouble for Lizzo. Cynthia Arato, Lizzo’s attorney, argued that the Raisens have already done enough damage with this “campaign of harassment.” A legal battle over copyright could also drag on for years.
According to the countersuit, the Raisen brothers originally helped Lizzo write a song called “Healthy.” Though this song was not used, the brothers argue that “Truth Hurts” bears a ton of resemblance to “Healthy.”
They also claim that even though Saint John showed Lizzo the inspirational viral meme, Jeremiah Raisen was the one to suggest that Lizzo use it as a lyric.
If anything, the truth will definitely hurt when it finally comes out.