Monday Music: ‘Love the way you lie’ by Eminem (featuring Rihanna)

Eminem is back on form with his latest album, Recovery. Currently his song “Love the way you lie” featuring popular chanteuse Rihanna is getting lots of play on YouTube.
It would be easy to dismiss it as another of those paint-by-numbers hip hop faux duets. Remember those neverending songs featuring Ashanti? This isn’t one of them.

When it comes to rap, I’m a Bone, Thugs-n-Harmony kinda girl. It’s all about the flow which is why angry black man gangster rap from Tupac or Biggie never appealed.
But Eminem is to rap what a poet is to verse. There is a lot of anger and barely controlled madness in his lyric but there’s a polish and restraint and an understanding of the power of melody to complement good rhyming.
Rihanna’s laidback vocal is a good contrast to Eminem’s rapping. The song’s theme, about a volatile, tempestuous relationship, would probably grate on the overanalytical or rabid feminists.
“He’s being misogynistic! He’s being mean to women again!”
The song’s easy to misinterpet as being about a deadbeat who is justifying treating his woman badly. It’s more about the push-and-pull and conflict that can easily erupt in a relationship, methinks.
Anyone who’s been in that kind of situation knows that sometimes you end up falling in love with someone who pushes all the wrong and all the right buttons. Passion is a scary thing and people, like chemicals, don’t often react the same way to different people.
But you promised her
Next time you’ll show restraint
You don’t get another chance

Eminem is quite clear about the effect of violence in a relationship – you hit your woman, she has every reason to walk away.
I rate this an 8/10 and I’m betting it’ll be a hit on radio.

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