I Hate U
|"I Hate U"|
UK 12" single
|Single by Prince|
|from the album The Gold Experience|
|Released||September 12, 1995|
CD maxi single
|Recorded||Paisley Park Studios, Late January 1994|
7" edit: 4:27|
Extended Remix: 6:17
|Producer(s)||Prince, Ricky Peterson|
|Prince singles chronology|
"I Hate U" (also spelled "Eye Hate U" to reflect the pictograph in the published title) is a song by American musician Prince from his 1995 album The Gold Experience. The track was the lead single in support of the album, released on September 12, 1995.
Development and songwriting
"I Hate U" was nearly a solo effort from Prince, although he credited Minneapolis musician Ricky Peterson with co-production and arranging, as well as providing additional keyboards.
Carmen Electra says Prince told her it was about her:
Electra: I went out with a guy—I hadn't slept with this person—and Prince found out. He said, "I wrote this song about you," and then he played "I Hate U."
Beginning with crashing drums, the "NPG Operator" welcomes the listener to "The Hate Experience" (which Prince would later entitle the song's maxi-single), before leading into the first verse where Prince sings in delicate falsetto about a cheating woman, whom he hates "like a day without sunshine". A church-like organ moves the song along, while a musical segment borrowed from "Baby" (a track from his 1978 album For You) provides breaks throughout the track. After the second verse and chorus, the song enters a lengthy middle section which is sung/spoken in Prince's normal voice. This section is a "courtroom drama" where Prince submits his evidence of his cheating lover to a judge. When he asks the woman to state her name for the court, he interrupts her with a vocal reference from the album's previous track—"Billy Jack Bitch". Toward the end of the drama, he states that being without her is killing him emotionally and that he actually still loves her. After a final chorus, again using an impassioned falsetto, Prince launches into a brief but effective guitar solo which climaxes and ends the song.
There was an unreleased video circulating among Prince collectors of this single. It featured Prince's then-fiancée Mayte Garcia, dancing in some shots and Prince telling Mayte off in the courtroom, and Michael Bland (part of The New Power Generation) as the judge. On January 26, 2018, the music video was finally revealed to the public on the official Prince YouTube Channel.
"I Hate U" was Prince's last original single to reach the US Top 40. (His earlier hit "1999" did sneak back into the Top 40 in the song's namesake year, peaking at number 40, but this was a reissued single, not a new release and, in 1996, "Betcha by Golly Wow!" from Emancipation made the Top 40, but all of the singles from Emancipation were promotional in the US so they were not allowed to chart on the Hot 100—only on the Hot 100 Airplay. Several Prince songs also returned to the Top 40 in 2016, the year of his death, as re-entries; none were songs appearing in the top 40 for the first time).
"I Hate U" was very successful on the charts. It peaked within the top 10 of the R&B/Hip-Hop and Rhythmic charts and it reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unlike the last two Prince singles, "I Hate U" was less successful on Mainstream/Top 40 radio, as it did not chart on the Billboard Top 40 Mainstream chart. It did however receive minor Mainstream/Top 40 airplay as it did chart it the lower regions of the top 40 of the Mediabase / Radio+Records CHR/Pop Airplay chart. In the UK, "I Hate U" peaked at number 20.
The single's B-side was an instrumental "Quiet Night Mix" of "I Hate U" featuring long-time collaborator Eric Leeds on saxophone. A maxi single on CD and vinyl included several remixes of the track. The most notable was an extended remix which omitted the "courtroom drama" and featured Prince delivering much more personal lyrics. A rumor at the time was that the lyrics of this version referred to Carmen Electra (whom Prince had worked with and dated for a time) after it was discovered that she "gave her body to" N.P.G. member Tony M. "in the name of fun". Electra has confirmed that the song was written about her. Other versions of the song were various edits. The Japanese CD single was unique in that it included the album version of "Endorphinmachine" as an extra track.
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||43|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||62|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||18|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||22|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||31|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||20|
|US Billboard Hot 100||12|
|US Billboard Hot R&B Singles||3|
|US Billboard Rhythmic Top 40||9|
|US Radio+Records CHR/Pop Airplay||36|
- "Prince, The Gold Experience (NPG/Warner Bros.)". Vibe. Vibe Media Group (39): 132. October 1995.
- "The Artist (Formerly Known As Prince) – I Hate U (The Hate Experience)". Discogs.
- "Artist (Formerly Known As Prince), The – The Hate Experience". Discogs.
- Prince: “Eye Hate U.” retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iQ1iC56i8g&feature=youtu.be on January 26, 2018.
- Heath, Chris (2016-12-08). "Prince's Closest Friends Share Their Best Prince Stories". GQ. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
- "Australian-charts.com – The Symbol – Eye Hate U". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Ultratop.be – The Symbol – Eye Hate U" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – The Symbol – Eye Hate U". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – The Symbol – Eye Hate U" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Charts.nz – The Symbol – Eye Hate U". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Swisscharts.com – The Symbol – Eye Hate U". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Prince: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 2, 2016.