UPDATE (October 25, 2019): Lizzo has responded to Yves Rothman and Justin and Jeremiah Raisen’s plagiarism claims over “Truth Hurts.” The singer filed a lawsuit in California federal court asking a judge to definitively declare the brothers’ claims as non-existent, along with labelling Rothman’s “copycat claim as meritless.
The suit accuses the Raisen brothers of coming “out of the woodwork with an illegitimate claim to co-own a piece of the work” after they assured her that they would not make any claims to the song in early April. In addition, the lawsuit claims that the Raisens asked to own 20% of the song and its profits and threatened to go public unless Lizzo gave in to their demands.
Lizzo maintains that “Truth Hurts” was co-written with Ricky Reed, Jesse Saint John and Tele in 2017, and neither the Raisens nor Rothman were involved in the creation of the song. The lawsuit continues to explicitly say that the Raisens didn’t write the famous “DNA test” phrase, thought of the idea of including the lyric, or help Lizzo decide on how to sing the lyric.
“The men who now claim a piece of Truth Hurts did not help me write any part of the song,” Lizzo tweeted. “They had nothing to do with the line or how I chose to sing it. There was no one in the room when I wrote Truth Hurts, except me, Ricky Reed, and my tears. That song is my life, and its words are my truth.”
Cynthia Arato, Lizzo’s lawyers, released a statement to Billboard explaining why she and her client decided to file a lawsuit against the brothers:
“Today we filed a lawsuit on Lizzo’s behalf to establish, in a court of law, that the Raisens are not writers of Truth Hurts and have no right to profit from the song’s success. The Raisens did not collaborate with Lizzo or anyone else to create the song, and they did not help write any of the material that they now seek to profit from, which is why they expressly renounced any claim to the work, in writing, months ago, as the lawsuit makes abundantly clear. Although it is all too commonplace for successful artists to be subjected to these type of opportunistic claims, it is nevertheless disappointing that Lizzo had to take this step to put an end to the Raisens’ false claims and their campaign of harassment.”
In response to Arato’s statement, Justin and Jeremiah Raisen spoke on the topic once again:
“First and foremost, we are beyond happy that our coming forward with our story helped Mina Lioness get the credit she deserved on “Truth Hurts.” Being able to celebrate with Mina would have been even better, but a win is a still a win. The Raisen brothers provided this statement to Billboard after the initial article was published, writing: “Regarding the statement from Lizzo’s lawyer, Cynthia Arotos, we find it unsettling that they believe our claim is ‘unwarranted’ considering the receipts we have which include a musicology report for the song ‘Healthy’ which predates ‘Truth Hurts.’ Another confusion we have is if Lizzo wrote this song alone with Ricky Reed, why was Jesse Saint John credited as a writer in 2017 from being one of the five writers in the ‘Healthy’ sessions in April of 2017. Lastly, Lizzo’s Attorney Cynthia Arato has accused us of ‘harassment’? Does ‘harassment’ mean telling the truth to the public which led to getting Mina Lioness the credit she deserves? Aside from the happiness we feel today from Mina finally getting her credit, it’s heartbreaking to know we still have to continue dealing with this. But, it’s worth hanging in if we can some how help the next person facing this sort of issue. God bless.”
ORIGINAL STORY (October 21, 2019): Lizzo is in hot water. Last week producer Justin Raisen accused Lizzo of plagiarizing a song that he, Lizzo, Jeremiah Raisen, songwriter Jesse Saint John, and producer/songwriter Yves Rothman wrote, a demo track entitled “Healthy” from 2017. Raisen claimed that Lizzo had taken the line “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that b*tch,” and implanted it into her No.1 single, “Truth Hurts.” Now CeCe Peniston has also come forth, claiming that Lizzo has plagiarized her 1992 song “Finally” in “Juice.”
In a recent statement Justin Raisen shared the reason for bringing up the issue publicly:
We were never contacted about being credited for the use of the parts of “Healthy” (melody, lyrics, and chords) that appear in ‘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. We’ve tried to sort this out quietly for the last two years, only asking for [five percent] each but were shutdown every time. Coming forward publicly to family, friends, artists, and colleagues seem to be the only way at this point in relieving some of our emotional distress caused by this.
Raisen continued in sharing his admiration for the movement of body positivity and self-love that Lizzo has initiated, “the last thing we want to do is throw any negativity toward Lizzo’s momentum and movement as a cultural figure. If we believe in what she’s preaching, believing in ourselves & our own voices is something we thought she’d understand.”
Cynthia S. Arato, a lawyer for Lizzo, recently shared with The New York Times that “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 to profit from, which is why they expressly renounced any claim to the work, in writing, months ago.” But Justin shot back, taking to social media to showcase a February 2017 tweet from singer Mina Lioness that showcased the same lyric used, even sharing a video with evidence of the demo track, as well as photos of Lizzo in the studio when it was written.
In regards to Peniston’s accusation, the claim is similar in that an ad-lib was copied from her 1992 classic, claiming that it was a “clear example of copyright infringement.” But like Justin, CeCe noted that the movement Lizzo has initiated is something that can’t be docked, adding “btw I love her music.” Peniston equally took to social media to share clear similarities between the two tracks.
You can check out the claims via the embeds below.
For more related news, the president of Atlantic Records UK recently stepped down following an “offensive” costume.
View this post on Instagram
The Truth about “Truth Hurts” On April 11th, 2017, we wrote a song called “Healthy” w/ Lizzo, Jesse St John, and Yves Rothman at our studio. “I just took a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that bitch” was taken from “Healthy” and used in “Truth Hurts”. We were never contacted about being credited for the use of the parts of “Healthy” (melody, lyrics, and chords) that appear in “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. 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. The last thing we want to do is throw any negativity toward Lizzo’s momentum and movement as a cultural figure. If we believe in what she’s preaching, believing in ourselves & our own voices is something we thought she’d understand. Shout out to the singer Mina Lioness ( @minalioness ) for tweeting “I just did a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that bitch”. A meme of that came up in our writing session & inspired the lyric and melody we wrote together. If Ricky and Lizzo’s team decide to settle this dispute with us, we would like to share some of the proceeds with Mina for her influence on Healthy. The clip below shows a video & photos from the day we wrote “Healthy” along with the comparisons between the two works. All the Love, Justin & Jeremiah Raisen #lizzo #truthhurts #healthy #billboard
View this post on Instagram
@bendaworld sent me this video and this is a clear example of #copyrightinfringement Cece Peniston versus @lizzobeeating y’all check this out and btw I love her music #tbt #juice #absolutvodka #finally #thetea #royalties #atlanticrecords #umpg #lizzo #lizzojuice #intellectualproperty
View this post on Instagram
This is a really a sensitive issue ..I love #lizzos music and artistry , my concern is that lyrics and melody that I wrote in my song #finally are now a part of her song “ juice “ and I would like for us to resolve this in a positive manner . #CeCePeniston CNN #Lizzo #TrustFinally #LizzoJuice #JawnMurray #Finally @bendaworld