Homage or disrespectful? Choi Yena’s ‘Hate Rodrigo’ has divided fans
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A scene from the music video of singer Choi Yena's latest lead track "Hate Rodrigo," which references American pop star Olivia Rodrigo. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Singer Choi Yena is one of a handful of popular female soloists in K-pop, an industry where solo female singers have traditionally struggled to gain a fan base or see much commercial success.

Last year, the former member of girl group IZ*ONE (2018-21) established a solid career on her own, debuting with the song “Smiley” which peaked at No. 5 on the Melon Top 100 chart and sold over 110,000 physical copies.

Her two following EPs also sold well over 110,000 copies each, so it was expected she would be back with another hit when she released more music on June 27.

"Hate Rodrigo" is the lead track of Yena's latest EP "Hate XX," which dropped June 27. [YUE HUA ENTERTAINMENT]

Yena’s new EP “Hate XX” quickly became the talk of the town — not because of the singer’s talented performance nor the pastel high-teen aesthetic, but because it was instantly slammed with accusations that the lead track’s entire concept was disrespectful to American pop star Olivia Rodrigo.

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