Review of Lizzo’s “Coconut Oil” EP

After a whiplashed summer of ceaseless hair tosses to Lizzo’s self-love anthem, “Good As Hell,” my ears were greedy (and my neck was nervy) for her new EP, “Coconut Oil.” Last March, when this big grrrl signed to a bigger label, Atlantic Records, I wondered if this Minneapolis star’s zest might temper. It didn’t. Within six songs, Lizzo reaches optimum flavor with dance jams and flute solos, all while glorifying black beauty and sisterhood.

Illustrator: Helen Teague

Illustrator: Helen Teague

“Coconut Oil” exudes what Lizzo is all about—celebrating yourself to the max. Her first track, “Worship,” lyrically commands that she be praised. However, its catchy hook makes it impossible to not sing along—soon enough we’re declaring ourselves deserving of worship, too.

After the first few minutes of the album, I thought, “Okay…another self-love-pump-up jam—like ‘Good As Hell’ with an intro reminiscent of the ‘George Lopez’ theme song.” Right as I started to wonder if this feel would continue the entirety of her EP, she hit me with the zinger: “Phone.” Lizzo sonically nails the sloppy urgency one has upon losing the almighty cell, jolting listeners with that “What’s going on?” rush that often accompanies her tunes.

Though not as hip-hoppin’ as previous albums, this EP digs further into her roots. The title track, a stark contrast to “Worship,” humbly returns to Lizzo’s younger years—a time she didn’t feel worthy of the self-acceptance she preaches today. Singing the advice of her mother and the powers of coconut oil, Lizzo revels in her black womanhood and inspires others to do likewise. This EP is a beam of light that shines through the ugly parts of society and reminds everyone of the importance of loving yourself.