The facts and the fiction of women’s lives, acclaimed and pedestrian, become a quilt in the court of public opinion. Anne Boelyn, the once queen of England, was informally accused of witchcraft. Josephine Baker and Frida Kahlo are thought to have had a romantic relationship — conversationalists hold the story to the light, failing to weigh in on if the story actually holds up. With awkward, heavy-handed strokes, we try to add globs of paint to the intangible, knowing it won’t stick, but giving ourselves to giddiness in the attempt. Gossip, parable-like untruths, rumors: international, human obsessions.

Lizzo and Cardi B, two modern acts seldom weighed down by the world’s chirps (opting to occasionally step away from social media, but always returning with raised chins), have formulated a response to the noise — a new song called “Rumors.” On the pop single, both artists speed through a running list of accusations and online attacks, from the talk about Lizzo’s smoothie detox and a list of her alleged lovers, to comments about Cardi B’s body modifications and other general fabrications.

“I wrote this song back in February and I been waiting to drop this song since February, so I’m like ‘oh my God,’” Lizzo said during a live conversation on YouTube.

Read our 2019 digital cover story with Lizzo here.

This marks Lizzo’s first single with her as the main artist in two years. The multiplatinum-selling, Grammy-winning singer released her latest album, Because I Love You, in 2019.

Meanwhile, Cardi B is shining up her sophomore project, which will follow 2018’s Invasion of Privacy. Most recently the “WAP” rapper was featured on Normani’s sultry single, “Wild Side.”

Watch Cardi B’s 2021 video for “Up” here.

For the video, the clap back queens take inspiration from ancient Greece, becoming their own muses while rehashing what we already knew — they don’t give a damn what anyone thinks.

Watch “Rumors” below.


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