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'I Hate Boston,' Renée Rapp explains the story behind the North End billboard

'I Hate Boston' billboard stuns onlookers in the North End
'I Hate Boston' billboard stuns onlookers in the North End 02:20

BOSTON - What's not to love about Boston? Apparently something, according to whoever placed a large billboard over Boston's North End.

"I HATE BOSTON," the sign reads in all capital letters on a white background. No further explanation is provided. 

"I don't like it!" said one onlooker.

"I don't hate Boston," added another. "You must be from New York if you hate Boston."

So, who did it? Some angry Yankees fan who wanted to pull a big prank?

Not exactly.

Renée Rapp's "I Hate Boston" billboard in the North End. CBS Boston

Some social media sleuthing revealed the culprit is none other than Renée Rapp, the musical artist known for playing Regina George in "Mean Girls" on Broadway or her role in HBO's "Sex Lives of College Girls."

The billboard advertises a song of the same name on Rapp's upcoming album "Snow Angel," which will be released on Friday.

Rapp spoke with WBZ-TV about the vague – and head-turning – billboard. 

"It's more fun when people don't know, and are very curious as to why I would do such a thing, and it is to incite fights and arguments. Cause you guys [in Boston] are very good at that, and you love that," she said with the dry sarcasm her fans have come to love her for.

So we had to ask - does Rapp really hate Boston? No. In fact, she explained in a prepared love letter of sorts.

"Dear Boston," she began. "Your accents, though harsh, are always memorable – unlike any performance from your beloved Celtics, and don't get me started on your Red Sox. Why are all of you Irish and angry? Perhaps it's the diet of Dunkin and Wahlburgers that incites so much passion. Yes, I had my heart broken by one of your own. But I know I cannot place that blame on you, dear Boston. I'm sorry for the slander. I love you forever. But I do hate that man."

Rapp says the song "I Hate Boston" on her album is a breakup song about a man from Boston – except, not actually from Boston, but Boston rhymed nicely with the lyrics she wrote.

While most people were stumped by the billboard, some of Rapp's fans intentionally sought it out. 

"I was at Faneuil Hall, and sprinted around the North End until I found it," said Sarah Desilets. "I think she's so funny. I think it's hilarious that she stuck it in the middle of Boston, though I feel like it'll get people talking so I feel like it'll be a good promo for the album."

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