There is no shortage of love songs written throughout history. Love is probably the most written-about topic in songwriting history. But what if you’re in a not-so-great mood? Well, there are songs about hate too. The following are the 21 best songs about hate for your next playlist.
1. Creep – Radiohead
One of the most common versions of hate is self-hate. The song Creep by the British indie rockers, Radiohead, aptly describes that feeling. The track debuted in 1992 and is still one of the most popular songs in the band’s catalog. Perhaps because the notion of self-hate strikes such a chord with people? This could be one of the most popular and best-written songs about hate in music history.
Next: The best songs about not feeling good enough
2. Killing In the Name – Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against The Machine embarked on a world tour in 2022 largely driven by the popularity of their song Killing In The Name. This track, written and recorded in 1992, is about fighting back against the powers that be. A lot of people use it as a way to get their aggression about the government out, but you can yell the famous chorus at anyone you like.
Next: Best ’90s jams – top songs from the 1990s
3. You’re No Good – Linda Rondstadt
When it comes to songs about hating the opposite sex, few people encapsulate the way women feel about their ex-lovers than Linda Rondstadt in You’re No Good. The song was originally written by Clint Ballard Jr., but Rondstadt recorded it for her 1974 live album, I Fall To Pieces. The energy behind the live performance helps get the point of the song across to listeners.
4. Take This Job and Shove It – Johnny Paycheck
One thing that all people summarily hate is their boss. There is no feeling as cathartic as telling your boss to take your job and shove it. That’s why the straightforward title of Johnny Paychecks’ 1977 hit country song struck a chord with country fans and crossover listeners. The track has inspired several book titles and developed into a popular phrase in the American lexicon at this point.
Next: Best songs about work and working a job (of all time)
5. My Life – Billy Joel
Billy Joel’s My Life is a song about picking up the pieces and taking control of your life. It’s about independence and making your life your own. It’s a great track to play after a breakup. Like most of Joel’s songs, he wrote both the music and lyrics, so the track’s performance is genuine and sincere. One fun fact about the song is that Chicago members, Peter Cetera and Donnie Dacus, performed backing vocals on it.
6. You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette
Few artists in history have had a debut record perform as well on the charts as Alanis Morissette with her album Jagged Little Pill. The benchmark tune was her breakup song You Oughta Know. To this day, no one knows who the song, released in 1995, is about. Many people guess Dave Coulier, the Full House star whom she used to date.
7. I Drink Alone – George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Nothing says hate like checking out from the world and drinking alone. That’s why I Drink Alone by George Thorogood & The Destroyers makes sense. People still lift their drinks together at bars while this 1985 hit plays on the jukebox. We guess truly lonely people are still drinking alone in a crowded bar.
Next: The best songs to drink to (our full drinking songs playlist)
8. Complicated – Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne’s debut album Let Go in 2002 featured this breakup song. The Canadian singers’ pop-rock style swept across North America in 2002 largely thanks to this track. Its archetypal theme of being mad at an ex for something they did is a recipe for success. This hate song is a must-add to any great playlist.
9. Goodbye Earl – The Chicks
Goodbye Earl wasn’t originally written by The Chicks, but they made the song famous on their fifth studio album Fly in 1999. The track deals with some dark themes, like two childhood best friends killing one of their husbands after years of physical abuse. The heavy theme of the song is counterweighted in the video with a black comedy theme. Interestingly, Dennis Franz of NYPD Blue plays the antagonist, Earl.
10. I Hate Myself and Want to Die – Nirvana
The grunge era wasn’t exactly known for uplifting themes in their lyrics. I Hate Myself And Want To Die may be the most straightforward title of that genre. One interesting fact about this tune is it was originally released as part of a compilation album for The Beavis And Butthead Experience in 1993. The song was also never performed live by the band thanks to Kurt Cobain’s early death.
Next: Our list of the greatest grunge songs ever
11. Thin Line Between Love and Hate – The Persuaders
Sometimes, you have to love someone before you can hate them. Love can also morph into hate in a heartbeat. Thin Line Between Love And Hate by the Persuaders is a classic song that perfectly addresses this phenomenon. The R&B vocal group from NYC released the track in 1971, and it has been an important song about hate since. It deals with a man coming home late from a night out to a patient woman, but one day, she snaps. That’s why he sings the song from his hospital bed.
12. Everything About You – Ugly Kid Joe
Wayne’s World fans recognize the debut of Ugly Kid Joe in 1992. The metal band’s song was featured in the massive comedy film. After that, the track was a single on their debut album America’s Least Wanted. It caught on because it fused the sound of hair metal with the grunge sound that was rising in popularity at the time. This song isn’t about an ex-lover as people may think. It’s about the singer’s childhood friend who was generally just a mean-spirited person.
13. I Fucking Hate You – Godsmack
Thanks to its frank title, this song by Godsmack is the perfect addition to your playlist to get some stress or anxiety about another person out. It’s the seventh track on the band’s 2002 album called Faceless. This album has a unique connection to one of the other bands on this list. The drummer, Shannon Larkin, was previously the drummer for Ugly Kid Joe. If you need some heavy rock in your playlist of songs about hate, this is the first track you should add.
14. I Hate You – Slayer
Continuing the trend of metal songs with the word ‘hate’ in the title is this Slayer track. Released in 1996 as the seventh track of Undisputed Attitude, the band’s seventh studio album. It’s amazing that the band still harbored such ill will and energy this far into their recording career. It consists almost entirely of covers, including I Hate You, which was originally written by the punk band, Verbal Abuse.
15. I Hate Music – The Replacements
You probably didn’t think you would find a track about hating music on a playlist of songs about hate, but here we are. The simplicity of I Hate Music by The Replacements is mirrored in the lyrics when they sing “I hate music, It’s got too many notes.” The song hit the charts in 1981 and deals with the hatred of other things besides music, including the singer’s father. It’s a classic early-80s punk sound with a clear message.
16. Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles
Hit The Road Jack is the most popular song on this list. It’s performed by one of the premier musicians in pop history, Ray Charles. Written by Percy Mayfield, the track debuted in 1961 and quickly took over the charts. It deals with a jilted lover telling her man to hit the road.
17. You Don’t Love Me Anymore – “Weird Al” Yankovic
“Weird Al” Yankovic is famous for his parodies of pop hits. However, this song is one of his works that is original. The style is similar to a soft singer-songwriter, like Cat Stevens or James Taylor. You need at least a little humor on your hate songs playlist to break up the angst. The hilarious lyrics are about a man and his lover who is growing mad with him. She is trying to kill the man, but he doesn’t realize it until the end of the song.
Next: Ultimate funny songs playlist (funniest songs of all time)
18. Break Stuff – Limp Bizkit
When it comes to getting anger out, there is no more rewarding activity than breaking stuff. This song by Limp Bizkit arrived at the perfect time in 1999. Teenage angst combined with the rise of nu-metal made this one of the hits of that summer. The theme is archetypal, especially when you consider the political climate. Any time you are mad and need to get some stress out, it’s a good idea to blast this tune on headphones.
19. Cleanin’ Out My Closet – Eminem
Eminem is the first rapper that comes to our minds when it comes to hate lyrics. Instead of directing his anger at the government or rival rappers, he pointed his rage at his mother in this song from his 2001 album, The Eminem Show. The single was the second off of the album to make it to the Billboard Top 10, so Marshall Mathers might not be the only person who has anger towards his mother.
20. And When I Die – Blood, Sweat & Tears
What’s a good playlist without some horns? And When I Die is a classic track by the jazz and rock stalwarts, Blood, Sweat, & Tears. They weren’t the original writers, but their version reached number 2 on the Billboard top 100 and was a certified gold record. The song deals with what the world will be like after the singer’s death and the people they hate will realize they miss them.
21. Numb – Linkin Park
Numb deals with the theme of being a social outcast. The song came out in 2003, and the striking music video made it one of the most popular in the band’s catalog. The critically-acclaimed video shows a day in the life of a girl who is an outcast, both at home and socially. Sadly, the themes in the track and video are still relevant today.
If you want to get some stress out, music is a great way to do it. Add some of these songs about hate to your next playlist for a great release while working out or just when you want to blow off some steam.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.