Single Review: Eminem ft. Rihanna – ‘Love The Way You Lie’

When music delves deeper into the personal lives of some music stars, you often find they make they appear to make the story about someone else and sing it in third person. The result is an ever so slightly emotionally detached version of what could be. So if you want to evoke full emotive manipulation amongst your consumers, it’s best to use the first person, as it makes the whole endeavour more personal to you as an artist, and feels like you are actually opening up to your fans and casual listeners alike. It’s deep stuff, an requires an amount of balls to do something like it, and remain relevant and credible.

But that’s not even the first hurdle. The first hurdle is putting down the tales of unrequited love and self importance, and making it look like you’re the sufferer in this tale of fiery relationships, because we all know it takes two to tango.

Eminem is no stranger to personal tales. As a man who offers his fans every part of him, with no taboos, on every single album, he is what personal experiences are to music what a glove is to a hand. He thrives off reciting his own tales of love, he’s not phased by the public impression of him. Eminem has a story to tell, and so he’s tells it.

Back in the day, for the ‘Marshall Mathers LP’, Eminem wrote a song called ‘Kim’, which was about the abusive relationship between him and his wife. ‘Love The Way You Lie’ is a commercial version of said song, about the horrific violent nature of a relationship between Eminem and Rihanna. One of whom has experienced the inescapable realism of a domestically violent partner, whilst the other has been the domestically violent partner.

It sets the duo up for a brilliantly chemistry-filled, emotional tempest of a song and it being Eminem, the Poet of modern Hip-Hop, you can expect the lyrics to harbour no taboos, no faults, and a masterful concept of a good chorus; an epic chorus.

“Just gonna stand there and watch be burn/But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts”. It’s a spookily real concept, that someone can be so violent to someone else, yet the recipient of the violence chooses to stand by them, regardless, whether it be because they still truly love the person inside, or they are simply too afraid to leave. In this song, Rihanna is claiming that she doesn’t want to leave because no matter how many times Eminem attacks her, she will always belong to him, and so will her heart.

It’s a fairy-tale story. It’s the original script written down by the Brothers Grimm: it tells the tale of a love that transcends violence, horror, gothic imagery and the modern, up-to-date concept of domestic violence. Over time, tales like Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel, and Snow White were watered-down, to appeal to children. Originally, the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood died from being axed to death by a woodsman, and Little Red Riding Hood died along with him, having been eaten earlier. In Hansel & Gretel there was no bread-crumb trail and the witch tortured the children before killing them. And in Cinderella, the Queen ordered the Hunter to kill Snow White, but he couldn’t do it, so he killed a boar and brought the heart back for the Queen, who then ate the heart.

This song, like the original Brothers Grimm tales, does not need to appeal to children – it’s the real deal; the un-tampered manuscript; and it’s most certainly not a bed-time story. It hides behind no pleasing visage or pretty decorations for extensive appeal: it is, as it is: Honest.

Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox personify the fiery relationship Eminem and Rihanna share in this song in it’s video – displaying the never-ending cycle of love; starting with them both lying on the bed, then going through numerous fights and make-ups, before ending up in the same place they started at the beginning of the video: their bed.

To create a commercial song that discusses something so immoral it’s barely mentioned by those who don’t experience it, and mentioned even less so by those who do experience it, takes a brilliant way with words, a strikingly emotional vocal performance, and an angsty amount of stress, self-loathing, regret, misery and realisation. ‘Love The Way You Lie’ is the stunning epitome of just that, and more.

Rating: 5.0 STARS

Download: August 9, 2010 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: ‘Recovery’

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