June 13, 2024

Lamar Jackson of the Ravens may have had six years to perfect the catchy Baltimore accent, but keep in mind that he only spends maybe half the year here.

Hence, his recent pathetic attempts to sound local are really not that bad.

Nobody should give him crap for this. He’s got a point about his upbringing. Maybe it’s not even possible to go from a Floridian accent to a Baltimore one. I would call a linguistics professor to find out the answer, but I assume they all have real work to do and this simply is not that important.

Because much of the fault here lies with Complex! The words Lamar was given do not lend themselves to proper Baltimore-ification. They’re too short. Yes, people say “you” in a distinct way here, but to experience the full glory of the accent you must identify words and phrases that utilize its entire spectrum. This accent needs space to unfurl.

I once heard about a sporting event on the radio while I was driving. It so occurred to be supported by “heWM dePOEEEHHHH” and “wells farGOEHHH.” I nearly ran off the road. It was magnificent to hear a local radio voice pronounce all these sentences quickly after each other, breaking up the deliberately dull Announcer Guy who had been calling the game.

The absurd thing is that Complex only needed to let Lamar to pronounce the name of his own teammate, Odafe Oweh, in order for him to feel comfortable speaking with this accent.

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