SZA has officially unveiled her latest single, ‘I Hate U’, over three months after the the R&B icon dropped it as a “random thought” on SoundCloud.
The song had initially come as one of three demos SZA shared back in August, alongside ‘Nightbird’ and ‘Joni’. They were released anonymously through a SoundCloud account named “.”, though SZA later confirmed the songs were hers by tweeting a link to the account and saying she was “dumping random thoughts”.
The official release of ‘I Hate U’ is virtually identical to the version SZA posted on SoundCloud, save for its slightly altered title (the SoundCloud version is called ‘I Hate You’). In a tweet announcing the single, SZA said: “this started as an experiment on SoundCloud but y’all asked for it On streaming.. here it go ?”
Check out the lyric video for ‘I Hate U’ below:
It’s currently unclear whether ‘I Hate U’ – or ‘Nightbird’ and ‘Joni’, for that matter – will appear on SZA’s forthcoming second album. The follow-up to 2017’s ‘Ctrl’ – which sported hits like ‘Broken Clocks’ and ‘Garden (Say It Like Dat)’ – has been teased regularly since 2019, with a suite of standalone singles making up for the radio silence.
In 2018, SZA teamed up with Kendrick Lamar for ‘All The Stars’, which featured on the soundtrack for Black Panther. The following year, she dropped ‘Power Is Power’ alongside The Weeknd and Travis Scott, while 2020 came with ‘Hit Different’ and ‘Good Days’, plus the Justin Timberlake collab ‘The Other Side’.
Thus far in 2021, she’s linked up with Doja Cat for ‘Kiss Me More’ (which the pair debuted live at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards), SAINt JHN for ‘Just For Me’ (which appeared on the soundtrack for Space Jam: A New Legacy), and Kali Uchis for a new version of ‘Fue Mejor’. On her own, she released ‘The Anonymous Ones’ as part of the soundtrack for Dear Even Hansen.
She also debuted another new track titled ‘Shirt’ during a livestream in July. In another tweet made today (December 4), she hinted that it could be her next single: “The only reason I didn’t do it first was [because ‘I Hate U’] was technically already fully out,” she wrote. “It wasn’t much to put it on streaming.”
Also in July, SZA half-joked that she’s considered scrapping her new album and “starting from scratch”. She later released a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to celebrate the aforementioned livestream.