For many of us, music has been a particularly intense arena of hating. But there is also a long tradition of music about hating. These are some of our favorite examples. Thanks to everyone who has suggested songs, fought over them, and loved them with us.
1. The Monks, “I Hate You”
An early hating masterpiece by a band so legit that they gave themselves tonsures. For all the hating out there, has anyone else so clearly realized the passionate attachments of hating?
Hey, well, I hate you baby with a passion yeah you know I do (but call me)
Oh you know my hate’s everlasting baby, yeah yeah (but call me)
Do you do you do you do you do you know why I hate you baby, huh, do you now? (but call me)
It’s because you make me make me make me hate you baby, yeah yeah (but call me)
2. The Dicks, “Hate the Police”
The Dicks were, along with the Big Boys and MDC, one of the great bands from the early days of hardcore in Austin, Texas. Fronted by the openly gay Gary Floyd, they were never ones to shy away from aggressively confronting their audience. Their powerful attacks on homophobia were inspired by a hatred of the homophobic culture in which they lived, even as they aimed to destroy that culture. You can hear this in one of their classics, “Saturday Night at the Bookstore.” But it was their original single, “Hate the Police,” that captured the political possibilities of hating so well. The song recounts how a racist psychopath becomes a policeman, only to find the Dicks as the people’s response to police-style justice. “People tell policemen/They’ve met their match/they planted on desert sand/The Dicks were hatched/We tell you something and it’s true/If you can’t find justice it’ll find you.” Here justice is seemingly impossible, unless, of course, you rally around the Dicks’ call to arms, “Hate the Police.”
3. Bikini Kill, “Suck My Left One”
If Riot Grrrl aimed at destroying patriarchy and the apathetic ethos that frequently informs dominant culture, it also took aim at self-marginalized communities like late 80s/early 90s punk and hardcore, which often as not sounded like Hitler Youth in their commitments to positivity. (Remember, if you can stand it, Youth of Today’s “physically strong/morally straight/positive youth/we’re the youth of today!”). Against that we find Bikini Kill in “Suck My Left One”: “Sister sister, where did we go wrong?/Tell me what the fuck we’re doing here/Why are all the boys acting strange/We’ve got to show them we’re worse than queer/SUCK MY LEFT ONE.” The refrain brilliantly flips the aggression synonymous with men’s bodies (“Suck my dick”); at the same time, the song’s incest narrative makes it clear that this expression of girls’ and women’s aggression extends from the belief that their bodies are already available for consumption. (It is precisely access to “my sister’s” body that “Daddy” wants.)
4. The-Dream, “Florida University”
It would appear that The-Dream doesn’t really care about Florida University at all, using it simply for the “FU” it provides. But The-Dream, whose name itself dramatizes an attachment to the linguistic order, must know that as far as objects to hate goes, Florida has no peer. The pleasure this song takes in its own hating is contagious. It glories in its corny pun as it bounces from sweet hook to sweeter hook, proving that hating makes a perfect party song. The hating of the jilted lover is in so much excess that language finally fails him: “What rhymes with asshole…asshole.”
5. The Big Boys, “Frat Car”
Who hasn’t hated college, frat guys, and cars? The Big Boys take a swipe at the pseudo-transgression of fraternity life and fantasize, like any ambitious hater, that getting rid of the reviled object might get rid of a much bigger problem. (“Frat cars they’re so useless/Who needs them in our town/If we get rid of those frat cars/they’ll be no more frats around.”) But in the end, instead of getting rid of frat cars and frat guys, the Big Boys just wrote a song about them, joyously reveling in attachment to the hated object.
6. The Replacements, “I Hate Music”
“Tape’s rolling!” “So what.” This song is so full of hate, it hates being a song. Don’t believe me? Ask the Replacements why they hate music: “I hate music / it’s got too many notes.”
7. Jean Grae, “Hater’s Anthem”
The history of hating on other rappers is as long as the history of hip hop, but Jean Grae’s rapid-fire delivery packs an omnibus of burns into “Hater’s Anthem.” (“I’ll piss on your shoes / Make you clean ‘em with with your mouth / Then I’ll tell all your friends / Send Depends to your house.”) Somehow, though, the most genius part is the monosyllabic chorus, which feints that there’s a better alternative than hating. Just kidding, there isn’t.
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck…hold up
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck…wait, nah
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, ok
8. Another Sunny Day, “You Should All Be Murdered”
There’s an extensive discography of murderous hate in twee pop–see also Black Tambourine, “Throw Aggi Off the Bridge”; The Golden Dawn, “George Hamilton’s Dead”; the Fat Tulips, “Double Decker Bus,” etc. It’s not so surprising if you think about the perversity it took to jangle in an age of hardcore and hair metal. La la means I love you, as the Delfonics once told us, but sometimes it also means I hate you.
9. Void, “Organized Sports”
The tyranny of suburban anomie can probably be summed up in the existence of organized sports. Fortunately for those of us who hate such things, Void wrote the greatest song ever. The deranged child-like chorus really captures the jouissance of hating.
10. Maino, “Hi Hater”
You might mistake this for a rejection of hating, but you’d be wrong. “Hi hater / hi hater / I see you / hi hater”–that’s some serious mirror stage shit. In fact, this might be the most ebullient hating of haters out there. At least until we get to…
11. R. Kelly, “Shut Up”
As with Maino’s “Hi Hater,” you might take this as an anti-hater anthem; again, you’d be wrong. Every negation, as we well know, is also an affirmation. R. Kelly simply destroys his haters by taking hating to another level–indeed, in this song’s soaring, gospel-inflected chorus, hating ascends to the divine. How many babies have been made off your music? We’re willing to bet it is not every boy and every girl from all around the world from the 90s ‘til today.
–Lara Langer Cohen: Monkees all the way & Brian Conn0lly: Hates everything and once lived in Florida
Check it! For more enthusiastic hatred: