Biography: Melissa Jefferson, AKA Lizzo, in a rapper based in Minneapolis, originally from Houston. After moving to Minneapolis in 2011, Lizzo found local success as a part of several groups, including the electropop band Lizzo & the Larva Ink and later the rap group The Chalice, in addition to associating herself with other local acts like Grrrl Party. In 2013, she released her first album, Lizzobangers, produced largely by Lazerbeak of Doomtree and Ryan Olsen of Gayngs and Marijuana Deathsquads. After touring with Sleater-Kinney in 2015, she released her second album, Big Grrrl Small World, which featured contributions from Sam Spiegel of N.A.S.A. and Justin Vernon. Recently, she signed with Atlantic Records.
Major Discography: Lizzobangers (2013) Big Grrrl Small World (2015)
Sounds Like Genre: Hip Hop, Soul Similar Artists: Doomtree, Azealia Banks, Salt-n-Pepa Similar Bonnaroo Artists: Big Grams, Lolawolf
Physical Reaction/Live Show Most of Lizzo’s songs are upbeat and many have singalong hooks, so expect this to be a fun dance party atmosphere. I’ve seen her twice now, once solo and once with The Chalice, and both times her singing voice and rapping holds up just as well live as it does on record (in other words, phenomenal). She’s done shows both with just her DJ, Sophia Eris, and has performed with a full band before, and I’m not sure which she’ll be performing with at the festival. Regardless, Lizzo is still the main reason you’ll want to come - her energy and raw talent are undeniable.
Personal Notes Minneapolis has a very active hip hop scene, largely dominated by the Rhymesayers roster (Atmosphere, Brother Ali, etc.) and the various members of Doomtree. And it’s not like either collective is necessarily bad, but it often feels like they take themselves way too seriously. Lizzo stands out from both groups because of her unique personality and sense of humor. Take her lead single from her last album, “Ain’t I”, which references Sojourner Truth, Wu-Tang Clan, Kanye West, and Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. And it has an extended soulful piano bridge! You can make the joke about there not being much competition, but in my opinion, Lizzo is going to put on the best hip hop show of the festival. Hope you’re all ready to experience a little piece of Minneapolis at Bonnaroo.