"Love the Way You Lie" (single featuring Rihanna)

Common Sense Media says

Domestic abuse single is too violent for most teens.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

In reality, Eminem is trying to shed light on the trap of domestic violence, but kids might not pick up on this, especially with the rapper portraying himself as the abuser.

Positive role models

Like a "what not-to do" for relationships, Eminem lays out all the emotions that can turn a relationship between two people toxic.


Domestic abuse is shown in the first-person with violent lines like, "I laid hands on her, I'll never stoop so low again, I guess I don't know my own strength" and "I know I'm a liar, if she ever tries to f---ing leave again, I'mma tie her to the bed, and set the house on fire."

Not applicable

The f-word is used three times.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Only one instance of a drug reference: "High off on love, drunk from my hate, it's like I'm huffin' paint and I love it."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though Eminem does an admirable job of portraying the depths of a dysfunctional relationship, many teens may not understand the message. Eminem is in character once again on this single, and this time around he's playing the role of abusive boyfriend. In reality, he's trying to shed light on the trap of domestic violence, but kids might not pick up on this, especially with the rapper portraying himself as the abuser. But the violence is acted out in a way to shine a light on the lies that we tell ourselves in a relationship, and Em's ultimate message is that this leads nowhere good. But that's heavy stuff for kids and teens to swallow, and the shocking ending to the song makes it a no-no for all but the most mature teens.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Welcome to the grand tour of dysfunctional love. "LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE" shows how a disintegrating relationship moves from pain to euphoria, denial to destruction; it's a trip through the downward spiral. But Eminem has another message besides examining how bad love can feel. This is also a song about abuse and the lies an abuser will give to keep his victim coming back for more. Rihanna, herself a victim of domestic abuse, offers up vocal accompaniment to Eminem's rhymes on this mid-tempo dose of reality.

Is it any good?


Rihanna seems to have a flawless record when it comes to guest spots. Once again her angelic vocals are the perfect foil for a hard-driving rap. But what differs this time around is the smoky, mature sound she delivers. Top that with Eminem's gritty lyrics, and it's a perfect match. Eminem pulls no punches (no pun intended) on a song that should act as a wake-up call to anyone stuck in a dysfunctional relationship. He hits every symptom of diseased love dead-on in an unflinching narrative. It's a great song, but one that is best for mature ears given the heavy subject matter.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about abusive relationships and avoiding the pitfalls of getting to involved in a relationship too soon.

  • Do kids get sarcasm? When a performer is in character describing undesirable behavior for effect, do you think most kids "get it?" At what age is this method understandable?

  • Talk about music that portrays women in a negative light. What songs have you heard that objectify or disrespect a woman? How do you think impressionable listeners interpret lyrics like this?

Music details

Release date:June 21, 2010
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of "Love the Way You Lie" (single featuring Rihanna) was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byOGORMAN May 6, 2012

Eminem hit is listenable for those mature enough to handle a situation involving abusive relationships.

I do not necessarily agree with a rating of pause for 16 year olds. It is understandable where Common Sense is coming from though. As you may know, the song is about an abusive relationship and the negatives of being in one. Eminem uses this unhealthy aspect to encourage young adults to stay away from these types of relationships. His lyrics do get to be a little bit over the top though, such as: "If she ever tries to f------ leave again, I'mma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire" or "You swore you'd never hit 'em, never hurt 'em... You push, pull each other's hair, scratch, claw, bit 'em, pin 'em down, so lost in the moments when you're in 'em." I don't believe kids my sister's age (12) should be exposed to this more mature content at such an early age. They are just not quite ready for the thematic elements in this song. Another aspect to touch on, of course, is domestic violence in itself. Abuse in any form is never okay. This song may concern some, but it definitely opens eyes to how frightening a relationship like this can become.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old April 24, 2011

Play Clean Around Younger Kids, And Do Not Show Them The Music Video!

Here are my reasons for rating it this: -For littler kids there are some cuss words (play it clean if around younger kids). -In the music video the girl and the guy fight a lot. -It the music video it shows the guy buy a pack of beer and it also shows one of the guys/girls sitting outside a store drinking a beer. I like Eminem, so I listened to this song.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old January 30, 2011

it depends

the music video shouldn't be shown to kids, but its a good song. you can't just say some things never happen
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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