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

(i)

 

Domestic abuse single is too violent for most teens.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

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.

Violence

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."

Sex
Not applicable
Language

The f-word is used three times.

Consumerism
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.

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?

QUALITY

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

Artist:Eminem
Release date:June 21, 2010
Label:Aftermath
Genre:Rap
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

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

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Quality

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 6 years old November 24, 2013

An Umer Made

Domestic abuse with language and sex, very intense and suitable for teens.
Teen, 14 years old Written byJesusFreak Pack... July 25, 2013

Great but very violent song

Great song but it is about domestic violence with lyrics such as"ima tie her to the bed and set this house on fire" and " I laid hands on her" Has a few lines referring to sex such as " so lost in the moments when you in em" Very good song though for ages 13 and older only
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old August 5, 2013

Great Song

I know that some people think that it is not appropriate, but there is a certain age when I think parents should tell their kids about that sort of abuse, not just keep quiet about it. Maybe explain about the song before you watch it with your son/daughter.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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