As Yungblud releases the most viscerally honest record of his career, he is standing by the truth that trauma isn’t neat, and it shouldn’t have to be. On his latest single, “Hated,” the musician shares an intimate conversation with his younger self as he attempts to unpack the lasting impact of an alleged childhood experience with sexual abuse. After carrying the weight of the harrowing moment he details on his own for years, the 26-year-old saw no reason to polish or repackage his trauma in a more palatable way.
“When I was seven years old, I was molested by a doctor,” the artist born Dominic Harrison claimed in a statement shared to social media ahead of the song’s release. “I never told anyone until I told my producer when this song started to come out. This is the most personal thing I’ve ever released. That’s not to say it’s soft or gentle. Far from it. It’s a rallying cry and exposition of the soul.”
Yungblud’s raw emotion cuts through “Hated,” which arrives alongside a chilling music video directed by Sandeep & Chadrick. Throughout the video, the musician buzzes with nervous energy, his hands fidgeting and wringing themselves out as he recalls that alleged encounter at the doctor’s office from nearly two decades ago.
“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,” he recalls to himself on the opening verse. “She’s probably finding out now in the line to your show/Why you’ll never trust a guy in a tie and a coat.”
As the video progresses, Yungblud’s trauma manifests physically in the form of black tar. It trickles from his nose at first, then falls in a downpour down the walls of the room he’s sitting in. In a later scene, faceless bodies smear it across his face while pressing his body into the messy ground.
Meanwhile, Yungblud is pouring out even more of his dark truths. He laments being perceived as a “posh, queer-baiting, indulgent arsehole” by the public but also details his struggle with presenting himself in an authentic manner without his loved ones being swept into it, too.
“Your sister can’t even look at you, she won’t open the door/The story you told was only partially yours/You outed her in a magazine/Who the fuck do you think you are?” he spits. “You forgot your family listens to the radio in the car/You’re trying to be authentic but you’re taking it too far/You’re messed up in the head, you fucked up with your friends, your family’s upset/Don’t call them, you forget.”
After delivering the song’s chorus in front of a mass of flames, Yungblud retreats into a corner and folds into himself. “You’ve got to hit rock bottom and live through all of the shit nobody believes,” he sings. “You’ve got to hurt some people, but first, some people will thirst on watching you bleed.” In the final scene, standing in front of him is a younger version of himself, who has only just learned of all of the mistakes he has yet to make and bad experiences he has yet to encounter. Despite the fear and anxiety he communicates throughout “Hated,” there’s a yearning for grace at the song’s core.
“The song is ultimately about freeing yourself from bad experiences and trauma,” Yungblud wrote in his statement. “Finding inner strength. Acknowledging your past, accepting the pain, and having the courage not to let it define your future.”
“Hated” arrives in partnership with the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing and raising awareness of child maltreatment and the lasting trauma born from neglect and abuse.