Lizzo, Live In Concert

Lizzo performs at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (Alex Schelldorf for NPR)
Lizzo performs at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (Alex Schelldorf for NPR)

The music of 27-year-old rapper Melissa Jefferson, who goes by the name Lizzo on stage, is full of soul. Though she spent much of her life in Houston, she's become a favorite in her adopted hometown of Minneapolis, working with members of the Doomtree collective and showing up on Prince's 2014 album Plectrumelectrum.

Bet on Lizzo expanding her audience soon. When the riot grrrl trio Sleater-Kinney reunited for an album and a tour earlier this year, they asked her to open for the initial run of dates. This month, she'll release her second album, Big GRRRL Small World. When she opened for Sleater-Kinney at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club in February, she was an undeniable force, winning the hearts of many in an audience who couldn't have been more excited to see the headliners. Here, you can see a little bit of why: "W.E.R.K. Pt. 2" and "My Skin" show her range and ability to command a crowd.

"Everybody put your lighter in the air or put your cell phone on flashlight," Lizzo said before introducing "My Skin," which appears on Big GRRRL Small World. "I want my rock star moment." She'll have plenty.


Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Robin Hilton; Director: Mito Habe-Evans; Videographers: Morgan McCloy, Claire O'Neill, Maggie Starbard, Carlos Waters; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Host: Bob Boilen; Editor: Adam Wolffbrandt; Special Thanks: 930 Club; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright NPR. View this article on