As Yungblud unveils his most brutally candid album yet, he remains steadfast in his belief that trauma is far from tidy and shouldn’t be forced to conform. His latest single, “Hated,” is a poignant conversation with his younger self, as he attempts to untangle the enduring impact of a childhood encounter with sexual abuse. After carrying the weight of this haunting memory in solitude for years, the 26-year-old musician saw no reason to sugarcoat or repackage his trauma to make it more digestible.
In a statement shared on social media before the song’s release, the artist, whose real name is Dominic Harrison, revealed, “When I was seven years old, I was molested by a doctor.” He emphasized that this track is his most personal release, which doesn’t equate to it being soft or gentle. Quite the opposite – it serves as a resounding call to action and a candid display of his inner self.
Yungblud’s raw emotion slices through “Hated,” accompanied by a chilling music video directed by Sandeep & Chadrick. Throughout the video, his restless energy is palpable, his hands fidgeting and wringing as he revisits that alleged incident from nearly two decades ago at the doctor’s office.
In the opening verse, he reflects to his past self, “You never said a word to anybody, no one was told / Your mum was in the same room, she was dying to know / Why when the curtain opened up you were white as a ghost.” The scene transitions to a realization that his mother may be discovering this truth while waiting in line for his show, and why he’s grown to distrust men in professional attire.
As the video unfolds, Yungblud’s trauma takes a physical form – thick, black tar. Initially oozing from his nose, it gradually becomes a torrent cascading down the room’s walls. In a subsequent scene, anonymous figures smear the tar over his face, pressing him into the chaotic ground.
Simultaneously, Yungblud bares even more of his somber truths. He expresses his frustration at being perceived as a pretentious provocateur by the public, yet he also delves into his battle to present his true self without dragging his loved ones into the spotlight.
After delivering the song’s chorus amid a backdrop of flames, Yungblud retreats into a corner, folding into himself. He sings, “You’ve got to hit rock bottom and live through all of the shit nobody believes / You’ve got to hurt some people, but first, some people will thirst on watching you bleed.” The final scene reveals a younger version of himself facing him, just learning of the mistakes and painful experiences that lie ahead. Despite the fear and anxiety threaded throughout “Hated,” a longing for healing and redemption underpins the song’s essence.
“The song is ultimately about freeing yourself from bad experiences and trauma,” Yungblud wrote. “Finding inner strength. Acknowledging your past, accepting the pain, and having the courage not to let it define your future.”
The release of “Hated” is in collaboration with the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, a nonprofit committed to preventing child maltreatment and raising awareness about the enduring trauma caused by neglect and abuse.