Gnash – “I Hate You, I Love you” (Lyrics Review & Song Meaning)
There are uplifting song, happy songs, sad songs and then there comes songs like “I Hate You, I Love You” which has a whole other aura to it. The song appears in Gnash’s 2016 album ‘us’ and this track just blew up. Why? Because it’s unique in it’s own way. The top comment on YouTube for it’s music video says “I come here every day…I don’t know why it just makes me even more depressed..” and we can very well agree with that. Music isn’t supposed to make you depressed, but it happens when the song is very relatable.
“I Hate You, I Love You” features vocals by Gnash and Olivia O’brien and the music video is directed by Mitchell DeQuilettes.
Watch “I Hate You, I Love You” Music Video
As Gnash himself has explained this song is about a relationship that is falling apart. Why? Because another woman has taken over her place.
The origins of this song run deeper than Gnash’s album. Olivia O’Brien posted the original track “hate you love you” on her SoundCloud account. You can listen to the original below.
Gnash caught wind of this track and re-recorded it adding his own verses with Olivia.
Lyrics Review of “I Hate You, I Love You” by Gnash
Verse 1 is by Olivia and it’s a shrilling start;
Feeling used, but I’m still missing you
And I can’t see the end of this
Just wanna feel your kiss against my lips
And now all this time is passing by
But I still can’t seem to tell you why
It hurts me every time I see you
Realize how much I need you
Towards the end of a relationship, it is quite inevitable that one of the two feels like they were used. Usually, the one who got attached the most may feel this way, but they still would jump in on a second chance. They dread to come to the actual end of the relationship. It’s not easy having loved dearly and getting the second place when another woman walks in.
The hook of the song is mesmerizing;
I hate you, I love you
I hate that I love you
Don’t want to, but I can’t put
Nobody else above you
I hate you, I love you
I hate that I want you
You want her, you need her
And I’ll never be her
Mixed emotions is the color of this song. The girl who got seconded to the other woman can’t stop hating him for what he did to her-but at the same time she cannot forget him. She hates her mixed feeling too. She needs to move on, but she simply cannot put another guy on the same spot as he was put in. But she has no choice.
There isn’t really another “her” in the picture yet. That “her” is a fictional character that the guy finds appropriate for him. The girl is simply saying that she cannot be that person he wants her to be.
Verse 2 is done by Gnash;
I miss you when I can’t sleep
Or right after coffee or right when I can’t eat
I miss you in my front seat
This is the guy’s side of the story and it’s not as sensitive as the girl’s. He only missed when he can’t sleep. We can assume that even with the new girl in his life (there’s none yet), there are some sleepless nights where the old flare lights up his heart. Sleepless nights would follow coffee in the morning, I assume. So it’s not like he has completely erased all of her memories. There still are some strings in his heart attached to her.
Still got sand in my sweaters
From nights we don’t remember
Gnash himself annotated that these lines would refer to some dirty adventures on the beach. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a beach. ‘Sand’ could refer to memories and he could mean that there are still memories of her inside him.
Do you miss me like I miss you?
Fucked around and got attached to you
Friends can break your heart too
And I’m always tired but never of you
Now the guy is reeling back too. He says he misses you (but earlier on he explained the instances he misses her) and asks her if she does too. I think she misses him just a lot more frequently than sleepless nights and coffee.
The guy has been sleeping around and what started as a random fling has turned into a full blown relationship. Unexpected, but nevertheless a rewarding connection. Was he thinking of them as ‘friends’?
If I pulled a you on you, you wouldn’t like that shit
I put this reel out, but you wouldn’t bite that shit
The first line relates to her situation from some lines down the verse. Apparently, she wants to keep it on the down low – “You’re still in love with me, but your friends don’t know.” Maybe, one reason that drove him away? Now I’m getting confused about the balance of this relationship. What he means by “pulling a you on you” is that if he treated her the way she treats you, she wouldn’t like that.
The second line says that he is speaking out these truths to the girl, but she is no mood to accept any of that.
I type a text, but then I never mind that shit
I got these feelings, but you never mind that shit
No problems were ever solved through texting (LOL). He types in a whole lot of things he wants to convey to her, but at the end, deletes all of it and types in ‘nevermind’ to avoid more problems. Communication is the key to any relationship, so I don’t know if his approach helped them at all. He has feelings too (maybe the things he wanted to say in his texts), but she blatantly ignores them?
Oh oh, keep it on the low
You’re still in love with me, but your friends don’t know
Rebound? Getting back together can be tricky after a breakup. It usually never works out and ends in more heartache. So during that grace period, both of the, keep it on the down low.
If you wanted me, you would just say so
And if I were you, I would never let me go
I don’t mean no harm, I just miss you on my arm
Looks as if there was a lot of ‘playing with emotions’ during the course of this relationship and the guy was the victim. She was ignoring his feelings and trying to keep it on the low. Those are obviously red signs in any relationship.
Wedding bells were just alarms
Caution tape around my heart
That is a nice lyric right there. They were discussing of marriage from a ship that was already sinking. Now he has a “caution!” sign around his heart, because he can’t afford to get more broken.
You ever wonder what we could have been?
You said you wouldn’t and you fucking did
Lie to me, lie with me, get your fucking fix
Now all my drinks and all my feelings are all fucking mixed
And we come back to the title of the song “I hate you, I love you” as the guy reels back to what ifs and could be’s. She lied to him and slept with him too. It was all a mess and that’s all that left of that relationship. It now has the guy mixing his drinks in a mix of emotions.
Always missing people that I shouldn’t be missing
Sometimes you gotta burn some bridges just to create some distance
The one’s who hurt you the most are the one who loved you the most at one time. So it is common that it takes a full pallet cleansing to erase their memories. Until that comes along, it is a suffering.
‘Burning bridges’ is a common phrase used to describe a breaking of a connection-in this case the relationship. No ex can have closure until they completely destroy that bridge between them.
I know that I control my thoughts and I should stop reminiscing
But I learned from my dad that it’s good to have feelings
When love and trust are gone
I guess this is moving on
Everyone I do right does me wrong
So every lonely night, I sing this song
The guy is in shambles. He has his feelings hurt and the only way to stop that is control his thoughts and stop snooping around the memory lane. When trust is gone out of a relationship, you might as well pack your bags and move on. And all these emotions has this guy singing this song at night.
Gnash and Olivia join in on the bridge of “I Hate You, I Love You;”
All alone, I watch you watch her
Like she’s the only girl you’ve ever seen
You don’t care, you never did
You don’t give a damn about me
Yeah, all alone, I watch you watch her
She is the only thing you’ve ever seen
How is it you never notice
That you are slowly killing me
Both the singers mashup this verse but I think it relates more to the guy and comes from the girls POV. I’m not sure if it’s a real girl they are talking about or the same fictional role that is described in the hook. But it’s clear that the guy has moved on to another ‘girl’ at least in his mind. She says he is slowly killing her, but being in the relationship did the same to the guy. So I can only justify the guy’s decision to call it quits.
The lyrics to “I Hate You, I Love You” are pretty great and has given us them feels.
The hook of the song repeats once and the song comes to an end and it leaves us with a heavy heart. Pretty much everyone who has ever been in a relationship can relate to the emotions described in this song.
We would love to hear from you, what you think about “I Hate You, I Love You” and would love to get your input on what these lyrics mean.