Monday marked the fifth week in a row that Lizzo’s exuberant breakup anthem “Truth Hurts” landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, prompting the singer to rally her fans behind an important cause: dethroning Iggy Azalea as the female rapper with the longest-running No. 1 single.
Lizzo took to Twitter to ask for support, retweeting the Billboard Charts tweet announcing her No. 1 status for the fifth consecutive week. In all caps, she wrote, “YALL…IF WE KEEP THIS UP FOR 2 MORE WEEKS…TRUTH HURTS COULD BE THE LONGEST FEMALE RAP #1 OF ALL TIME…..RIGHT NOW ITS ‘FANCY’ CAN WE DO IT?!” She also shared a screenshot of the top 10 chart with the comment, “I AM BLESSED.”
As Lizzo points out, Azalea’s bombastic 2014 hit “Fancy” currently holds the title. At the time, it was impossible to turn on the radio without hearing the Australian rapper declare, in a forced, unnatural Southern-American twang, “First things first, I’m the realest.” A then-relatively unknown Charli XCX belted out the catchy hook that haunted the airwaves for months. It resided at the top of the charts for six consecutive weeks. “Truth Hurts” would need to hang onto the spot for two more weeks for Lizzo to beat Azalea’s record.
Iggy fans immediately spammed Lizzo’s tweet with defensive and sometimes toxic replies, essentially declaring war on the Lizzo fandom (also known as Lizzbians). People called her “desperate” and said “Fancy” would still be a better song regardless of whether or not “Truth Hurts” manages to surpass it in popularity. Lizzo knows, maybe better than most, that stans will disregard all boundaries when it comes to protecting their faves. She followed up her initial tweet with a clarification. “Fancy is a BOP and my homie @charli_xcx is genius on it,” she wrote. “(STREAM CHARLI- HER NEW ALBUM NOW).”
There was just one small problem: the 31-year-old neglected to mention Iggy at all, naturally inciting the wrath of Azaleans and even the rapper herself. This is, after all, a woman who once feuded with a British cartoon pig from a children’s television show. Many interpreted the omission as a snub. In a since-deleted tweet, Azalea responded, “I could have sworn I was the one rapping that song but okay…”
The Aussie went on to jokingly encourage fans to stream the Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello earworm “Señorita” (aka the couple’s desperate attempt to convince skeptics that their relationship is more than just a PR stunt), which is trailing “Truth Hurts” at No. 2 on the charts. “Stream señorita for clear skin,” Azalea tweeted with a link to the music video.
Demonstrating her commitment to the beef, or perhaps just desperate to milk her fleeting spot on the trending topics list, Azalea even temporarily changed her Twitter display name to “IGGY AZALEA stream señorita” and swapped her avatar for a photo of Shawn and Camila. Later on Monday evening, Azalea walked back her comments, tweeting, “listen I’m down to be petty in the name of a laugh or two but in all seriousness, I’m just trolling and laughing at all of the funny replies. I promise it’s not serious; at least not for me.” Lizzo appeared to take the high road by not responding to Azalea’s trolling.
One-sided celebrity catfight aside, Lizzo surpassing Azalea would be a satisfying victory for some hip-hop fans. The latter has long been a controversial figure in the music world for being, as one Gawker writer put it, “rap’s best drag queen,” adopting an effortful blaccent that diverges significantly from the soft-spoken Aussie intonation of her speaking voice and borrowing the flow of rappers native to the American South. Born Amethyst Amelia Kelly, the white, blonde-haired performer has also come under fire in the past for making racist and homophobic remarks on Twitter—from referring to herself as a “runaway slave-master” to mocking “homos” and “dyke bitches”—while simultaneously benefiting from appropriating black culture.
Lizzo, on the other hand, is a vocal champion of embracing one’s genuine self with confidence, infusing her music and her interviews with empowering messages about self-love. In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, the singer said, “When I have to make decisions, I always choose honesty and I always stay true to myself, because I know at the end of the day that is what’s going to remain. That is what’s going to be the legend: that I was true to myself and that I honored every person by staying truthful to them.”
For someone like Lizzo—a body-positive black woman who trades in self-love and, above all, authenticity—to claim the title of female rapper with the longest-lasting No. 1 single would be nothing short of a restoration of justice.