A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What 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").
- Parents say
- Kids say
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
For kids who love dance-pop and rap
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