Olivia Rodrigo accused of using a "blaccent" and AAVE in resurfaced Instagram Live
30 July 2021, 12:20
According to Urban Dictionary, a blaccent is a "distinctive manner of speech, pitch or tone particular to African American urban inner city youth".
On Wednesday (July 28), a video of the 'Deja Vu' and 'Good 4 U' singer having a conversation with her fans was shared on social media. In the clip, which is a compilation of multiple Instagram Live videos, Olivia says phrases like "I be trending" and "emotional AF" as well as "y'all". All of these phrases are considered to be AAVE.
The clips are thought to have been from January 2021, around the release of her debut single 'Drivers License'. Olivia's outfit and her background on her Instagram Live match a grid post shared on January 8.
As well as the video, a viral Twitter thread shared some of Olivia's tweets from 2020 and 2021 where she uses AAVE terms like "homegirl" and "crine".
Olivia has now received backlash for using the terms because they're currently trendy, while Black people are discriminated against and penalised for using slang words. People have also mentioned how other musical artists like Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande have been criticised for using a blaccent and appropriating Black culture in the past.
"Olivia rodrigo constantly uses AAVE and it is pissing me off. the blaccent…," one comment read. Another added: "Billie used aave and blaccent when she was like 16/17 and she got so much shit for it but olivia rodrigo is doing the same thing at 18 years old and everyone is letting it pass… weird."
However, others have defended Olivia and insisted that the terms she used are often said on social media, particularly on TikTok, and it's possible she didn't know the origins of the words she had used.
billie used aave and blaccent when she was like 16/17 and she got so much shit for it but olivia rodrigo is doing the same thing at 18 years old and everyone is letting it pass… weird— gia loves halleys comet (@chosetochange) July 29, 2021
i’m disappointed in liv and i urge everyone, big or small platform, to speak up and hold her accountable. @Olivia_Rodrigo you owe black fans an apology. i will link the AAVE carrd in the replies.— franny (@jupiterliv) July 28, 2021
i'm a black woman and i don't feel super angry when non black ppl use aave, however the fact that yall are in the comments gaslighting this person for feeling some type of way really shows that yall don't gaf about black ppls emotions and THAT makes me wanna gatekeep my language— rini is so boring how do yall ship- (@immarave) July 29, 2021
ew i just saw the olivia rodrigo aave video and girl….i mean obviously it’s disrespectful, but on top of that it’s just so cringe like cmon now— worldofFashion (@fashionbabyluv) July 28, 2021
Olivia rodrigo aave sounds like this😭pic.twitter.com/ZIiBpORdyo— 𝐡 | 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐧𝐞𝐲 (@blackoutconfess) July 28, 2021
Do people not realise, if you are brought up in an environment where everyone is using words like “homegirl, gurl, sis, etc etc” people are bound to pick up something. Making this an issue when it shouldn’t be. Please touch grass. https://t.co/wBQXI0ZVmO— Fizzy 🇵🇸 #FreePalestine (@rainonfizzy) July 29, 2021
Olivia is yet to address the backlash but we'll update you if she does.