SW: luke personalized

Is there something just plain wrong about "Love the Way You Lie"?

Rihanna is featured on Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie" which, basically, is a song about domestic violence.

Now, I'm not surprised that Em is doing a rap about domestic violence (shocker there, right?), but I'm a little surprised that Rihanna got herself involved in the song, especially after being a victim of abuse by Chris Brown, but also because her portion of the song's lyrics sound like she still loves the guy.

Granted, I like the song, I really do, but I get this slight... uncomfortable/this-just-isn't-right feeling, too. Does anybody else feel this way about this song?

Is this something cathartic for her? Do you think it may encourage victims to stick it out with their abuser?
  • Current Mood: curious curious
Well... Rihanna isn't with Chris Brown anymore as far as I know, so the message is not about "sticking it out"... In fact I think it's the opposite. (Just as the message of Eminem's lyrics aren't about "sticking it out" despite his anger issues and his violent actions. It's about leaving the relationship before it explodes...)

Rihanna's lyrics in the song illustrate (rather than advocate) the mindset of an abuse victim. Someone who's self worth is determined by their abuser rather then themselves...

The music video helps clarify by not glorifying these destructive relationships, but rather by trying to show how terrifying and tumultuous they can be- the intense highs and lows, and the constant fear and jealousy.

Like Rihanna, Eminem was involved in an abusive relationship with his ex, Kim... So I don't think it's fair to question Rihanna's involvement, and not his. Both have experienced domestic abuse in their lives, so it's easy to assume that both found the song cathartic....

So when you ask, "Is there something just plain wrong about "Love the Way You Lie"?, well yeah- of course there is. The song is terrifying- it's about an abusive and destructive relationship from which neither person can seem to walk away from. It's a reality that unfortunately, many people experience in their lives. So yeah, feeling uncomfortable is completely understandable- it's domestic abuse.

I heard the song the first time when I saw the music video, and despite it's catchiness, I don't want to listen to it again... It made me physically nauseous- because I've known people in those kinds of relationships. It's upsetting...

What troubles me, and is probably more so a reflection of our society, is how only Rihanna's lyrics in the song disturbed you, when Eminem's are just as unsettling...

Just something to think about...

more here: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1645202/20100805/eminem.jhtml
Thank you. Your answers brought clarity, which is why I asked the questions.

Eminem's ranting and ravings have been going on for years now, so his portion of the song came across, as disturbing as the lyrics are, as territory he has covered before. "Yeah, yeah, Em. We've heard this all before. You're angry and you hate the world and your ex. Try something new, okay?"

Rihanna, however, hasn't really covered her abuse experience in song since the incident with Brown, so her involvement was a bit of a shock to me compared with Em's words. It's not what she's saying in the song, it's her involvement that caught me off-guard. If her portion was performed by someone without such a public experience with domestic violence, then the impact just isn't the same. Consequently, the contrast between the two performers and performances makes it a "better" song. It turns out that it is cathartic and, as Rihanna says in the article you linked to, something that needed to be done, to be let out.

If you stay on the surface, if you take the words at face value and not delve too deeply into their meaning, that is where the problem of sticking-with-your-abuser, enabling him/her because you think you love him/her, becomes an issue that, well, happens too often in portions of society today.
You're welcome! And yeah I totally understand what you mean about Eminem being Mr. "edgy" and "uncensored" and the idea this song is familiar territory for him... As for Rihanna I don't really know her music that well, but from what I understood, her most recent album "Rated R" is pretty dark and heavy... Since she made it AFTER the assault by Chris Brown, it's definitely a product of its aftermath.... Themes of Anger, pessimism towards love, and perseverance...

But yes, as far as I'm aware, musically, I don't think though she had addressed it as directly as she has in "Love The Way You Lie".