It takes something special for a song to amass 1.5 billion views on YouTube-especially over a period of 7 years, when one-night wonders pop and go. And Eminem and Rihanna together has that little something a little extra. “Love The Way You Lie” was the pinnacle of the two artists’ collaborations and remains to-date as one of the most successful and popular hip hop songs. It is currently the 36th most viewed song on YouTube and has sold over 6 million copies in the US alone. The single recorded 9x Platinum in sales in Australia alone.
“Love The Way You Lie” appears in Eminem’s 2010 album ‘Recovery’ and was written by Alex Da Kid, Skylar Grey, and Eminem himself.
Skylar Grey initially wrote the chorus of the song and Eminem got the whiff of it. Marshall Mathers wrote down his verses and invited Rihanna to perform the chorus of the song. The special thing about these three artists is that all of them had endured abusive relationships. Rihanna with Chris Brown and Eminem with ex-wife Kim went through mental and physical torture and this bond connects these artists in these powerful lyrics.
When talking about the song, Rihanna said that she believes this song has the power to help a lot of troubled people and people who struggle in their relationships to voice out and get out of the torment. And that is a bigger win than any accolade this song has received.
Watch “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem Ft. Rihanna
Let’s look into some of the lyrics of the song as Eminem delivers some of the most flawless flows of his lyricist career in this song.
Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “Love The Way You Lie”
Rihanna performs the chorus of the song;
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
Well, that’s all right
Because I like the way it hurts
The singer talks about being the victim of an abusive relationship. She is burning inside and she still tolerates it all because she loves him. He has no sense of the pain and torment he is causing on the woman.
Skylar Grey wrote this chorus out of her personal experience with an abusive partner as well as the music industry. Skylar mentioned that her ex nor the music industry did any physical abuse to her, but she endured so much stress and breakdowns because of the both of them.
Rihanna’s voice adds so much power to these lyrics. Skylar Grey performed a medley that included “Love The Way You Lie” live with Eminem at SNL in 2017.
Eminem talks about love here, comparing it to a steel knife stuck in his throat-which would obviously be very painful and life-threatening. He is losing hope, but he is still fighting whenever he catches a breath.
This is a very sad situation a lot of couples drag their-selves into. ‘Love’ brings them together and different other reasons keep them together even when love falls apart. Then there are two souls just enduring more and more torment.
And I love her the more I suffer, I suffocate
And right before I’m about to drown she resuscitates me
There is no escape for the two of them. The more they keep loving each other, the more they let themselves suffer. There is no ending to the chain and they aren’t even trying. The reason? Because they need each other (or so they think). She is his saving grace as well.
Watch Eminem Perform “Love The Way You Lie” Live
It’s so insane, ’cause when it’s goin’ good it’s goin’ great
I’m Superman with the wind at his back, she’s Lois Lane
But when it’s bad it’s awful, I feel so ashamed
Eminem feels like Superman when things are going good, but it all goes to hell when things take a turn for the worse. He has no control of his rage and he is scared that he might even hurt someone-physically.
You ever love somebody so much
You can barely breathe when you’re with ’em?
You meet, and neither one of you even know what hit ’em
Got that warm fuzzy feelin’
The first line is a recall to Eminem’s “When I’m Gone” track from ‘Curtain Call’ album. It had the line “Have you ever loved someone so much, you’d give an arm for?.” That song spoke about his love for Hailie Mathers and in “Love The Way You Lie” track these lyrics refer to the beginning of a relationship.
Now you’re in each other’s face
Spewin’ venom in your words when you spit ’em
You push, pull each other’s hair, scratch, claw, bit ’em
Throw ’em down, pin ’em
A few months down the line and they despise each other. They argue-spitting venomously cruel words at each others’ face. None of them controls their rage and it gets physical.
Now you get to watch her leave out the window
Guess that’s why they call it window pane
Notice that people don’t walk out of windows under normal circumstances-they use doors. So Eminem is saying that things have gotten so bad that she resorted to escaping him through the window. ‘Pane’ is a play on words for ‘pain,’ which Em means to say that it still hurts to see her leave from the window.
Watch Skylar Grey Cover “Love The Way You Lie” Live
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
In the last verse of “Love The Way You Lie,” Eminem is trying to justify their situation. He is thinking maybe this is natural-maybe this is how two crazy people are supposed to be. A tornado meeting a volcano would bring about ultimate chaos and destruction and Em is thinking their relationship is so too. All he knows for a certain is that no matter what happens, he cannot make up his mind to leave her. They are stuck in the wheel forever.
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 fuckin’ leave again
I’ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire
There is no turning back now. The wheels have been set in motion and they are reduced to an ever-lasting abusive relationship. This was pretty much Em’s life with his ex-wife Kim. Eminem would lie just to keep her around and he is saying if she tries to leave again, it would be the end of, possibly, both of them.
“Love The Way You Lie” is a roller-coaster ride. There is Eminem’s chaos mixed with Rihanna’s soothing vocals. The comes Em’s crazy rage with Rihanna’s calming surrender. The addition of Megan Fox in the music video was an excellent choice, as she does the role perfectly.
What are your thoughts on “Love The Way You Lie?” Let us know in the comments below. Check Genius for the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown.