R&B-and-pop maestro Lizzo has returned, after two years since her last full-length release, with a song to let people know she’s been hearing all the things said about her—and she could not care less. In the Ancient Greece-inspired video (which makes reference to the Muses from Disney’s Hercules, among other citations), she and rapper Cardi B affirm that everything everyone’s been saying about them is true; not that it’s any skin off their backs, or putting a dent in their wallets.
While Lizzo playfully feeds rumors that her and Chris Evans are having a baby, Cardi B is actually pregnant with her second child in the Herculean music video, sporting gold plating on her breasts. The Hustlers stars make reference to hot topics of discussion concerning their personal lives: For Cardi, it’s her body modifications and previous work as a stripper, while for Lizzo it’s her body and her diet, as bigger women apparently cannot exist without plenty of people offering up their opinions on that.
One of the wonderful things about Lizzo has always been the way she’s so firmly herself at all times, exuding confidence and a “no one can bring me down” energy. Her breakout bop focused on how “Truth Hurts,” and now she’s letting everyone know that she’s not bothered by the chatter. Oftentimes subject to fatphobia online, the singer asserts, “I am body goals.” The video only features plus-sized women, along with statues of fuller figured gods and goddesses, and affirms Lizzo’s stance to continue her body-positivity efforts, despite criticism about a juice cleanse she went on last year, which she also references.
Despite what the video shows, “Rumors” lacks a lightning-strike moment. It remains relatively one-note throughout the track, never really offering a giant hook for listeners to latch onto. Aside from maybe a few more cuss words than Lizzo’s previously dealt out in her singles, there’s no earworm that jumps out and screams, “Got you!” Ahead of the release, Lizzo told fans to be ready for something “very different,” but “Rumors” doesn’t read too much different from her previous work. There’s a bouncy beat and a brassy breakdown, topped off with carefree sensibilities, which continues to work for Lizzo, but hardly quantifies as something “very different.”
The duo’s offering may not be controversial like Cardi’s collab “WAP,” or sensual like Cardi’s most recent appearance on Normani’s “Wildside,” but “Rumors” will likely serve as a good song to put on when blocking out haters, assuming you have any to shut down. Overall, the single falls into what might be called “Old Navy music”: songs to backtrack sanitized commercials featuring families showing off jeans. It’s perfectly fine, even fun, and will no doubt get lots of radio airplay, but it just doesn’t stick out too much from the current pop M.O. What does stick out is Lizzo’s continued charm, and the continuance of letting any bullshit roll off her in waves—which, in and of itself, is a reason to tune in.