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

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
"Love the Way You Lie" (single featuring Rihanna) Music Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Domestic abuse single is too violent for most teens.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 28 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 77 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

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 & Representations

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
Language

The f-word is used three times.

Consumerism
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."

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJoleson April 12, 2013

Stupidness of the usual retards Rihanna and Eminem

Turdy song on some dude setting his girlfriend on fire, Eminem the psycho and Rihanna the Masochist. He's rapping about beating on his Girlfriend and like... Continue reading
Parent of a 2, 2, and 8-year-old Written byFreckles_NH September 7, 2010
Abuse is never glamorous or sexy. This song and its video glorify violence and abusive relationships. Not ok for anyone
Teen, 15 years old Written byCooltiger37 September 24, 2018

Powerful hit is too violent for kids

While this song may not be NEARLY as graphic and hateful as the rapper's earlier "Kim", the violence , profanity (three uses of "f--k"... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMerveille January 20, 2021

Eminem always spoils her songs

Em you cuss burn the house and have some bad violent lyrics. This song is good because of riri but at least he focused on the learning part of the song although... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate