Do You Love Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie”?

By featuring Rihanna in Eminem’s new single “Love The Way You Lie,” it seems as though the tune must be a warning against the dangers of an abusive relationship rather than a glorification of domestic abuse. But can the rapper be taken seriously in this context based on his previous misogynistic lyrics?

“Love the Way You Lie” is the second single from Eminem’s seventh studio album, Recovery, which was released in June.

The tune’s music video, which premiered on MTV last night, stars Dominic Monaghan (of  “Lost” fame) and Megan Fox as a couple who are stuck in a cycle of violently breaking up and then making up.

The couple alternates between spooning in bed and making out contrasted with Fox spitting in her lover’s face and Monghan punching a hole through the wall.

Eminem narrates Monghan’s thought process while standing in the middle of an empty field. He raps, “You swore you’ve never hit ‘em/Never do nothing to hurt ‘em/Now you’re in each other’s face/Spewing venom … I just want her back/I know I’m a liar/If she ever tries to f**king leave again/I’mma tie her to bed/And set the house on fire.”

Photo: AP Photo
BET Awards, Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, Calif.

Rihanna sings the song’s chorus while standing outside a burning house, crooning “Just gonna stand there and watch me burn/Well that’s all right because I like the way it hurts/Just gonna stand there and here me cry/Well that’s all right because I love the way you lie.”

The pop star is no stranger to abusive relationships. Her former boyfriend and fellow singer Chris Brown pled guilty in June 2009 to one count of felony assault against Rihanna. He was accused of punching her, biting her, putting her in a headlock and threatening to kill her during an argument.

Rihanna spoke to “Access Hollywood” about working with Eminem on the video.

“It’s something we both experienced on different sides, different ends of the table,” she said. “It just was authentic. It was real. It was believable for us to do a record like that, but it was also something that needed to be done, and the way he did it was so clever. He pretty much just broke down the cycle of domestic violence, and it’s something that a lot of people don’t have a lot of insight on, so this song is a really, really powerful song, and it touches a lot of people.”

Photo: AP Photo
Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

Monaghan gave his take on the song to in a recent interview.

“I think we tried as hard as we could to not glorify the violence, to try and explain that this was a relationship that is by no means ideal and a relationship that probably should have ended a lot sooner than it did,” he said.

“The concept of ‘Love the Way You Lie’ was essentially a look at the relationship that Eminem was in with his wife, Kim, so I kind of felt like I was playing Eminem a little bit, and Megan Fox was kind of playing Kim. … Ultimately, what I think he’s trying to say in the song … is that he should have walked away a little bit quicker than he did and not let it get as messy as it did.”

Although it’s possible Eminem wrote the song to express his regret for how his relationship with his former wife Kim Mathers ended, it’s hard for me to praise the rapper for examining the cycle of domestic abuse based on what I know about some of his previous songs.

Eminem’s second studio album, 2000’s The Marshall Mathers LP, features a song called “Kim” about his former wife who he’s now married and divorced two times.

The song examines Eminem’s hatred for Kim and the tune ends with the rapper slitting his wife’s throat and screaming, “Bleed, bitch! Bleed!” as listeners can hear her choking.

According to the BBC, after the song was released Kim attempted suicide and sued Eminem for defamation.

How can listeners take “Love The Way You Lie” seriously after the same artist released a song like “Kim”? How can listeners know that “Love The Way You Lie” isn’t also glorifying domestic violence?

What do you think about the song?

Click here for the story.

Click here for the “Access Hollywood” interview.