Song of the Week: Coconut Oil


Lizzo, a singer and rapper from Detroit now located in Houston, has an innate ability to effortlessly capture an audience with her dynamic performances. Following Lizzo’s Atlanta Music Midtown performance Sept. 14, 2019 she has only introduced more people to her irresistibly upbeat music.


Since September 7th, the song “Truth Hurts” from her 2019 album “Cuz I Love You” has been number one on the Billboard Top 100. However, her earlier songs should not be forgotten, especially one as valuable as  “Coconut Oil”. 


“Coconut Oil” begins with Lizzo displaying her skills as a classically trained flutist which transitions into her singing. This speaks to her innovation and creativity which continues to play a role in her music in 2019, at times literally because she continues to bring her flute into her songs.


The lyrics themselves reflect Lizzo’s own process of learning to accept herself which is paralleled in the upbeat tempo of the song. Throughout the song, she repeats the line “I thought I needed to run and find somebody to love.” This line embodies a prevalent belief of American culture that external forces are what give people value and that same value cannot be generated from within. 


However, Lizzo makes it evident those beliefs are false and combats those ideas in lines bursting with self confidence: “But all I needed was some coconut oil / Don’t worry ‘bout the small things, I know I can do all things”. Lizzo’s symbol of coconut oil illustrates the importance of believing in ones own capabilities to be empowered.


The reversal of the damaging belief that others are responsible determining self worth represents Lizzo’s flourishing role as a feminist icon by challenging harmful views of women in American society. Lizzo presents a message of radical self-love for a new generation of women that is more powerful and inclusive than ever. In the success of her current songs same message is present.


As the song draws to a close, the melody fades into a chorus of voices chattering, which in a song chronicling Lizzo’s own journey to self-love displays the power of every person has to embrace themselves for being who they are.