Undisputed Attitude was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, California with producer Dave Sardy, while Reign in Blood producer Rick Rubin served as executive producer. Recorded in three to four weeks, the album was largely the brainchild of guitarist Kerry King, who stated that the songs chosen were from highly influential bands who "made Slayer what it is". The album was initially to feature material from classic heavy metal artists such as Judas Priest, UFO and Deep Purple. However, after several rehearsals "things didn't pan out" according to King, so the band instead elected to cover punk songs.
Slayer considered covering 1960s psychedelic rock band the Doors as they were an influence to vocalist and bassist Tom Araya. When asked which track they considered recording, Araya responded, "Maybe 'When the Music's Over', 'Five to One', something like that." A cover of Black Flag's "Rise Above" was suggested by Rubin, although was shelved after the band was not sure how to arrange it musically.
Guitarist Jeff Hanneman had written four unreleased songs in 1984–1985 while in the side project Pap Smear with Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Rocky George. The band chose the best two, namely "Ddamm (Drunk Drivers Against Mad Mothers)" and "Can't Stand You". "Gemini" was written by King and Araya several months before entering the recording studio. King asserts it is the only Slayer song on the album. The song begins as a sludge/doom number, before becoming a more typical Slayer song.
The band's cover of Minor Threat's "Guilty of Being White" raised questions about a possible message of white supremacy. The controversy involved the changing of the refrain "guilty of being white" to "guilty of being right", at the song's ending. This incensed Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye, who stated "that is so offensive to me". King said the lyric was altered for "tongue-in-cheek" humor, saying that the band thought racism was "ridiculous" at the time.