Hate U (often known as I Hate U or Eye Hate U) is the 16th track (eleventh song) on Prince’s 17th album The Gold Experience, the first to be credited to , and, two weeks before the album’s release, Hate U was released as the album’s first single (The Most Beautiful Girl In The World had been released the previous year, but it was not connected with the album release at the time). Two months earlier, however, a remix containing a portion of the album version along with a portion of the Quiet Night Mix by Eric Leeds was included as the fourth track on The Versace Experience (Prelude 2 Gold) promo cassette given to attendees of the Versace collection of Paris Fashion Week.
While specific recording dates are not known, basic tracking took place in early 1994 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota (during the same set of sessions as Days Of Wild, a new version of Shhh, and new versions of The Most Beautiful Girl In The World). The studio version of the song was premiered at a party at Glam Slam in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 16 March 1994 (along with Billy Jack Bitch, Days Of Wild, Now and a remix of Pope, hours after recording Letitgo). It is likely that the remixes and additional recording for the maxi-single versions took place in mid-1995, also at Paisley Park Studios, but this is unverified.
The finale of the album version of the song is overlaid with the final NPG Operator segue; the full track without the overlaid segue is available as Hate U (Album Version) on the Hate U maxi-single.