Yena’s newest track Hate Rodrigo — a witty concept to pay homage gone wrong?

Yena's newest release Hate Rodrigo was intended to express "cute jealously" and pay homage to one of her favourite artist. What went wrong?

Zhuo Jia Wen

| June 30, 2023
Yena. Photo: @YENA_OFFICIAL/Twitter

Yena recently returned with her second single album Hate XX (2023) earlier this week. And she’s back with a completely different concept — a punk rock one.

She previously donned Y2K outfit, going all bubbly for her debut track Smiley (2022).

Her transformation from her last release was generally well-received. But as for her latest title number Hate Rodrigo (2023) — not so much.

She had intended for the track to be a homage to one of her favourite artist: American singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo. But her daring choice of the song title raised eyebrows.

Prior to the release of the track, the 23-year-old soloist starred in online variety series The K Star Next Door hosted by TV personality Jonathan Thona.

She clarified then, that she’s actually a fan of Rodrigo.

“I say I hate her on purpose,” she said. And by that, she meant that she’s leaning towards being envious of Rodrigo’s success.

Several portions of the music video also mirror those of Rodrigo’s, like a track from her SOUR (2021) album, deja vu (2021).

Some might misinterpret her intentions. But she only wanted the song to express the “cute jealousy” that “I hate all the kids who are better than me”. And it was probably never intended to be a diss track.

Despite the seemingly neutral intentions, her entertainment label recently made the music video for Hate Rodrigo not visible to the public, on YouTube.

They also removed other short-form content on Tiktok with the hashtags #Hate_Rodrigo.

Sources have alleged that Olivia Rodrigo’s side raised several copyright issues. But this is untrue, according to Yena’s label Yuehua Entertainment.

The label made the music video private “due to infringed trademark rights, portrait rights, and copyright in some scenes”. They will also re-upload the revised music video once they have resolved portrait rights violations.


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