This song features Carey's trademark soprano, but in a different way than before. She said in publicity materials: "I sing a recurring melody in the upper register of my voice; it's not an ad-lib, but an integral part of the song's hook. That's not something I've done before, and when listening back to it, it reminded me of how Minnie Riperton used her upper register on her hit song ' Lovin' You
.' I thought how ironic that her song was called 'Lovin' You' and my song is called, 'H.A.T.E.U.' - and both use that upper 'whistle register' as a major part of the melody. So it's sort of an homage to Minnie Riperton, a tribute to her since she has been so influential in my singing style."