"The Monster (ft. Rihanna)" (CD Single)



Em rants about the demons of fame again; get edited version.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Inspirational lyrics are about Eminem's improbable rise to stardom and the troubles and travails he has faced along the way.

Positive role models

Although the lyrics are typically self-centered and egotistical, it's always nice to see the vulnerable and brutally honest side of Marshall Mathers. Specifically, he continues to reference his ongoing struggle with addiction.


Threatens other MCs, claiming their "blood get spilled" when he raps.

Not applicable

Explicit version uses the words "f--king" and "s--t" once each. 

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Em references his need for an intervention and his continuing effort to stay sober.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that "The Monster (ft. Rihanna)" is an anthemic, radio-friendly, pop-rap song about struggles with celebrity, sobriety, and sanity. Harkening back to the self-empowerment of earlier tracks like "Lose Yourself" and "Not Afraid," Em veers away from his Slim Shady persona, instead rehashing familiar themes of internal turmoil and a me-against-the-world attitude. The edited version is OK for older tweens and teens, whereas the explicit version features a couple of curse words ("f--k" and "s--t"). 

What's the story?

THE MONSTER (FT. RIHANNA) is the fourth single from Eminem's album The Marshall Mathers LP 2, the alleged sequel to 2000's smash hit Marshall Mathers LP as well as the fourth collaboration with dance-floor queen Rihanna. Following in the footsteps of "Love The Way You Lie" and "Numb," "The Monster" sees Eminem tapping into his emotional, fame-weary side, while Rihanna croons about how she's "friends with the monster that's under my bed."

Is it any good?


Although Em is adept as ever at wordplay, his pity party feels like a tired subject. One can't help but feel like he's said all of this before, and he's losing his flair for saying it in interesting ways. It doesn't help that the beat is a generic, cheesy house track with a vague chorus about trying to "get along with the voices in my head." Maybe some listeners will be able to relate to the internal turmoil portrayed in the song, and others might simply appreciate the fluid flow and steady dance pulse, but fans of hip-hop and the old Eminem may want to avoid this one at all costs. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the abnormal lives of celebrities that come from worldwide acclaim, worship, and criticism. Does the pressure of extreme public visibility and expectations lead to inevitable psychological and substance-abuse problems, as the story so often goes?

  • This is the second time we've seen Eminem team up with fellow chart-topper Rihanna, following the smash hit "Love The Way You Lie." Why do you think these two pop heavyweights continue to collaborate?

  • Eminem's career has had many stages. Why do you think he has chosen to return to his iconic Marshall Mathers LP for stylistic inspiration and the title of his new record?


Music details

Release date:October 29, 2013
Label:Interscope Records
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

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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; OK 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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Teen, 17 years old Written byUnicornOnFire November 21, 2013


A disapointing RIhanna collaboration.
Kid, 11 years old November 24, 2013

Okay song.

I can hardly understand what Eminem raps. Though this is an okay song, they reference to monsters which scare many young kids. So I would recommend this to ages 12 and up who like rap music.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 16 years old Written bymusicforver November 21, 2013

Borderline Track

The Monster is definitely a new radio smash. It is only explicit because it uses f--k and s--t once each in the third verse. Good track, if you're a fan of Eminem or Rihanna (or mainstream music), you will probably like this track. Mostly for 12 and up.
What other families should know
Too much swearing


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