Queen Of Pop Rock Avril Lavigne’s Surprising Influence On Hip-Hop

Let’s face it, we’ve all had an Avril Lavigne phase. Can we make it any more obvious? Whether it was a passing experience, or a gateway into becoming full-on emo varies from person to person, but we cannot deny that the “Girlfriend” singer has had an undeniable hold on pop culture, but perhaps in ways other than the ones we’d expect!

In 2017, a viral Tweet from the now-deleted account, @wongkarswai read, “Avril Lavigne is dead and was replaced by lil uzi vert: confirmed.” Attached to the Tweet were photos of Lavigne, sporting blonde hair with pink and green streaks, wearing a black and red striped sweater, and Lil Uzi Vert in a similar shirt, and sporting pink highlights as well.

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While the tweet may have gone viral, massing 80,000 Retweets and 190,000 likes prior to its deletion thanks to the fake conspiracy theory that Avril Lavigne died after her first album and was replaced with a look-alike named Melissa,  but it is hard to deny that Ms. Lavigne and Lil Uzi Vert share somewhat similar tastes in fashion.

It’s been over 15 years since Lavigne’s debut album Let It Go was released to the public, and launched her into stardom. Even now, Lavigne’s style and fashion choices have remained undeniably recognizable and distinctive to those who grew up listening to her music. Loose ties, spiked silver jewelry, dyed hair streaks, and the iconic pink and black color combination are just a few of the many iconic and idiosyncratic fashion staples she has sported over the years.

While this is all very well-known information, and Lavigne’s influence on pop culture is undeniable, what is surprising is her hold over hip-hop culture specifically. Lil Uzi Vert has never publicly stated that he has ever listened to anything by the “Sk8er Boi” singer, but it would not be surprising, based on the fact that the rapper has worn a lot of punk and goth-inspired fashion, but he would not be the first rapper to be influenced by Lavigne.

The singer’s been an inspiration for a handful of contemporary rappers, including Vic Mensa, who has been involved in punk and skater culture. He threw her a shout-out in his song “Almost There” where he sings, “I’m still a skater boy, I’m flippin’ out like Avril Lavigne/ I tweak on every little thing, that’s why it took me so long”.  The name drops don’t end there, Lloyd Banks and Nipsy Hussle both mentioned Lavigne in their respective songs, “It’s Okay (Born Alone, Die Alone”, and “Dreamin”. Rapper Princess Nokia has also referenced Lavigne’s song “Sk8er Boi” in her debut album, 1992, and on the cover of her newest album, A Girl Cried Red, donned a Slipknot tee shirt, studded silver jewelry, and a black and red striped shirt, very similar to Lavigne’s style in the early days of her career.

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We cannot think of another pop-rock princess who has had such a hold on pop culture, let alone on a music genre that would seemingly brush past her work. Though, it does make sense that Lavigne’s work is so iconic to mainstream rappers today. The millenial generation grew up listening to her music, and she was one of the biggest music stars at the time. Her debut album Let It Go was one of the top five best-selling debuts of 2002, and in 2007, when Lavigne released her wildly popular single, “Girlfriend”, rapper Lil Mama collaborated with her on an insanely fun remix of the song, with an accompanying music video!

That, combined with the fact that Lavigne’s punk sound and hip-hop were two subcultures that were extremely similar in a lot of ways when they first emerged on the scene. American punk and hip-hop were both born in New York City around the ’70s, and share a DIY culture, and were a way of rebelling or escaping the mainstream culture of the society of their time.

Rappers Fat Tony and Rico Nasty have both praised Lavigne on her musical content and talent, Fat Tony was quoted with saying “If you’re in the hip-hop community and you are kinda familiar with skaters and kinda familiar with punk and kinda familiar with pop music but don’t know about all three [Avril] delivered a great visual catchy package that describes all of them.” With these facts in mind, Lavigne and Lil Uzi Vert’s comparison may seem unlikely, but in reality, it shouldn’t! Lavigne is a wildly popular singer who, as we said before, has been a gateway to alternative music and culture for many people, including contemporary rappers! We really don’t have to go and make things so complicated when you think about it!


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