Over the weekend, fans flocked to social media to call out the singer for her choice to use the word “spaz” in the opening verse, viewing it as a derogatory term. (“Hold my bag, b—h/ Hold my bag/ Do you see this s–t?/ I’m a spaz/ I’m about to knock somebody out/ Yo, where my best friend?/ She the only one I know to talk me off the deep end,” she sings over the sample of “Girls” by the Beastie Boys.)
“Hey @lizzo my disability Cerebral Palsy is literally classified as Spastic Diplegia (where spasticity refers to unending painful tightness in my legs) your new song makes me pretty angry + sad. ‘Spaz’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better,” one disappointed listener wrote.
Another tweeted, “It doesn’t matter if lizzo knew the ableist connotations of the word sp*z, it is still problematic. so many people will sing this song and integrate the word into their day to day language.”
Others even petitioned Lizzo directly to remove the word from the song altogether. “Hey @lizzo please remove the word ‘spaz’ from your new song because it’s a slur and really offensive to the disabled community,” one wrote, signing off, “From a disappointed fan.”
Billboard has reached out to Lizzo for comment.
Arriving on the heels of Top 10 hit “About Damn Time” and its viral TikTok dance, “Grrrls” serves as the second single off Lizzo’s forthcoming studio album Special, which will be released July 15 via Nice Life Recording Company/Atlantic Records.
See more reactions about the lyrics to “Grrrls” below.