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Laying bare domestic violence

August 4, 2010

(Edit – see the comments of this post for the official video featuring Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan)

That’s what Eminem does in his new song, Love the Way You Lie, which features Rihanna.  Laying bare how it feels from the perspective of an abuser.  With the histories of ‘domestic’ violence surrounding both singers, and the potential to reach so many people – victims, survivors, abusers and bystanders – it is an important song.

Blogger Chris Yuscavage believes this is Eminem’s most ‘socially important track’ of his career, writing:

Despite the subject matter, Em doesn’t pull any punches (no pun intended, obviously) and does a nice job of driving home the point that domestic violence is a vicious cycle … he sends a clear message about domestic violence without making it so blatant that you’re forced to hit the “Next Track” button. It’s as if Em and Rih-Rih have tricked us into thinking about domestic violence in our society. There’s no intro or outro with Em addressing the subject matter. There’s no bridge where Rihanna breaks down in tears and sings her heart out. They just let the song speak for itself.


That Em practically made a living off rapping about domestic violence in the past (“KIM,” anyone?) only makes it that much stronger. It gives a lot of those older tracks purpose, almost as if they’ve set Em up to make a statement on domestic violence today without it seeming corny or over-the-top. It’s as if he’s saying, “Here’s all the twisted thoughts that go through the mind of someone that batters a female—are you sure this is what you want? And are you sure that you’re ready to go through this over…and over…and over again if it is?”

By adding Rihanna—who struggled through domestic violence with her former boyfriend Chris Brown—the song becomes more believable, too. It’s the type of track that will do more than just become a hit on the radio. It’ll give girls (and guys) in troubled relationships something to think about. It’ll get played at schools and shelters and on the radio and generate discussion. It’ll make a difference.

It’s a song I can relate to, both the personal anger that could easily play out into violence – and does so in many lives – and the depiction of an abusive relationship.  It lays bare the duplicity and lies of abusers, and how they manipulate their abused partners.  And it makes it very public.

H/T Quiet Riot Girl

(The GAB article that QRG links to quotes some of what Rhianna says in this interview. Worth watching for context)

Lyrics:

Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that’s alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that’s alright
Because I love
The way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

I can’t tell you what it really is
I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now there’s a steel knife
In my windpipe
I can’t breathe
But I still fight
While I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right
It’s like I’m in flight
High of a love
Drunk from the hate
It’s like I’m huffing paint
And I love it the more that I suffer
I sufficate
And right before im about to drown
She resuscitates me
She fucking hates me
And I love it
Wait
Where you going
I’m leaving you
No you ain’t
Come back
We’re running right back
Here we go again
It’s so insane
Cause when it’s going good
It’s going great
I’m Superman
With the wind in his bag
She’s Lois Lane
But when it’s bad
It’s awful
I feel so ashamed
I snap
Who’s that dude
I don’t even know his name
I laid hands on her
I’ll never stoop so low again
I guess I don’t know my own strength

Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that’s alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that’s alright
Because I love
The way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

You ever love somebody so much
You can barely breathe
When you’re with them
You meet
And neither one of you
Even know what hit ’em
Got that warm fuzzy feeling
Yeah them chills
Used to get ’em
Now you’re getting fucking sick
Of looking at ’em
You swore you’ve never hit ’em
Never do nothing to hurt ’em
Now you’re in each other’s face
Spewing venom
And these words
When you spit ’em
You push
Pull each other’s hair
Scratch, claw, bit ’em
Throw ’em down
Pin ’em
So lost in the moments
When you’re in ’em
It’s the rage that took over
It controls you both
So they say it’s best
To go your separate ways
Guess that they don’t know ya
Cause today
That was yesterday
Yesterday is over
It’s a different day
Sound like broken records
Playin’ over
But you promised her
Next time you’ll show restraint
You don’t get another chance
Life is no Nintendo game
But you lied again
Now you get to watch her leave
Out the window
Guess that’s why they call it window pane

Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that’s alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that’s alright
Because I love
The way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

Now I know we said things
Did things
That we didn’t mean
And we fall back
Into the same patterns
Same routine
But your temper’s just as bad
As mine is
You’re the same as me
But when it comes to love
You’re just as blinded
Baby please come back
It wasn’t you
Baby it was me
Maybe our relationship
Isn’t as crazy as it seems
Maybe that’s what happens
When a tornado meets a volcano
All I know is
I love you too much
To walk away though
Come inside
Pick up your bags off the sidewalk
Don’t you hear sincerity
In my voice when I talk
Told you this is my fault
Look me in the eyeball
Next time I’m pissed
I’ll aim my fist
At the dry wall
Next time
There will be no next time
I apologize
Even though I know it’s lies
I’m tired of the games
I just want her back
I know I’m a liar
If she ever tries to fucking leave again
I’mma tie her to the bed
And set the house on fire

Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that’s alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that’s alright
Because I love
The way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2010 08:03

    i have always liked him but couldnt always work out how to say his name . i think he is smashing .x

  2. August 7, 2010 20:32

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