Love the Way You Lie by Eminem and Rihanna
“Love the way you lie” by Eminem and Rihanna
"Love the Way You Lie" is a song sang by rapper Eminem in collaboration with singer Rihanna from Eminem’s 7th studio album Recovery. The song brings together Eminem’s personal past and Rihanna’s tragic experience in relationship. The song deals with the prominent topic of domestic violence in many relationships (Fallon 2).
In Eminem and Rihanna’s video, love and violence interlink seamlessly. In one occasion, a couple sleeps in one another’s arms, the next they viciously fight and toss the sheets (Media Literacy Project 2). After some minutes, the couple kisses fervently and pressing on the same wall he knocked with his fist. Rihanna chants the chorus with words such as “… That’s all right because I like the way it hurts.” The video is particularly useful since Eminem’s and Rihanna’s past lives were characterized by violence or abuse (Fallon 4). Eminem is fond of singing a lot about violence while Rihanna was once abused by Chris Brown.
When one examines the video very carefully, it appears like it glorifies domestic violence. Eminem sings ‘If she ever tries to fucking leave me again, I’m a tie her to the bed and set this house on fire.” Eminem appears to promote violence against woman since he is set to punish her partner if she decides to dump him (Enck and Blake 621). On the other hand, Rihanna sings “Just gonna stand there and watch me burn. But that’s all right because I like the way it hurts.” Rihanna suggests that she may tolerate domestic violence if it is directed at her again (Cundiff 22). The song explains a superficial narrative of a violent relationship without an analysis.
In the video, Eminem raps aggressively in the background insinuating that he is the male character that appears in the video. The video indicates how a love so violent at one time could quickly go wrong after some time. On the other hand, Rihanna sings as if she is the female character that appears in the video. Rihanna’s line, “I love the way you lie”, insinuates that the female character gets pleasure in being let down and mistreated. Both Eminem and Rihanna play their part in the video in front of a house that is burning. The flames may be representing anger, desire or even regret.
The video helps to tell a story, but it fails to paint the whole picture that many anti-violence proponents have been witnessing. Viewers of the video may be left wondering what could have brought the two individuals to that place. In the video’s depiction, passion and violence appear to be the same thing. Viewers fail to see any injuries, ambulances, and police vehicles that are associated with domestic violence (Enck and Blake 620). Viewers fail to see that many victims of domestic violence are compelled to go through in silence. Despite the song’s chorus, victims do not appear to delight in being abused, although many stay in such relationships as a strategy for survival.
Rihanna’s personal story is a clear indication of what many women undergo in relationships. The musician faced domestic violence in the hand of a fellow musician and decided to quit the relationship. Ironically, in this video, the musician appears to encourage women to tolerate mistreatment in their relationship. I think it is high time women stand and condemn violence against other women and shun relationships that expose them to abuse.
Cundiff, Gretchen. "The Influence of Rap and Hip-Hop Music: An Analysis on Audience Perceptions of Misogynistic Lyrics." Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications 4.1 (2013).
Enck, Suzanne Marie, and Blake A. McDaniel. "Playing With Fire: Cycles of Domestic Violence in Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie”." Communication, Culture &. Critique 5.4 (2012): 618-644.
Fallon, Kevin. Rihanna and Eminem’s New Video: Glorifying Domestic Violence? 2010 Online <. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/08/rihanna-and-eminems-new- video-glorifying-domestic-violence/61159/>. Media Literacy Project. Love the Way You Lie: Pop culture, Race and Domestic Violence. 2011 Online <. http://medialiteracyproject.org/blog/love-way-you-lie-pop-culture-race-and- domestic-violence>.