Home Rock Music Eminem’s “Love The Method You Lie” (Feat. Rihanna)

Eminem’s “Love The Method You Lie” (Feat. Rihanna)

Eminem’s “Love The Method You Lie” (Feat. Rihanna)


In The Quantity Ones, I’m reviewing each single #1 single within the historical past of the Billboard Scorching 100, beginning with the chart’s starting, in 1958, and dealing my approach up into the current. Ebook Bonus Beat: The Quantity Ones: Twenty Chart-Topping Hits That Reveal the Historical past of Pop Music.

On paper, the pairing is mindless. Eminem and Rihanna are each titanic stars who’ve managed to domesticate auras of thriller, however past that, they’ve little or no in widespread. For all of her years-long imperial period, Rihanna appeared to soak up and internalize all of the currents and concepts swirling in well-liked music, channeling these sounds and pictures and approaches right into a sequence of world-beating diamond-skinned anthems. Eminem, in contrast, is a self-described hermit who tends to disregard pop-music winds, preferring as an alternative to place his adolescent rap fandom and dazzling technical ability to work by making dense, insular word-thicket rappity-raps about his personal timeless anger on the world.

In apply, the mix was fairly bizarre, too. Rihanna, solely 22 on the time, had simply gone by means of her darkest interval and made her darkest music, however she was nonetheless outlined by her easy, laid-back glamor. Rihanna by no means needed to work exhausting, and she or he by no means needed to develop into a vocal virtuoso. As an alternative, she leaned into the sheer energy of her personal presence. Eminem, already pushing 40, was a white, Midwestern dad who’d flirted with retirement. His writing had develop into labored and awkward, and his limitless documenting of his personal inner struggles had misplaced the devil-may-care silliness that when animated his persona. Collectively, Rihanna and Eminem had been hearth and ice. They didn’t essentially belong collectively, however they made their very own sort of sense. With the primary tune that they recorded collectively, these two spectacularly wealthy and well-liked artists made one another even richer and extra well-liked.

Once they made “Love The Method You Lie,” Eminem and Rihanna had one large factor in widespread, apart from the suffocating reputation that they shared, and that factor was the horrible specter of home abuse. They got here at this topic from completely different angles. For years, Eminem had rapped feverishly about his tortured relationship with Kim Scott, the mom of his daughter. Marshall Mathers and Kim Scott each had severe issues — despair, habit, chaotic upbringings.

Eminem and Kim married in 1999, divorced in 2001, after which married and divorced once more in 2006. Earlier than they grew to become a pair, Kim lived with Marshall and his mom. The Mathers clan took Kim in when she was a runaway, fleeing an abusive stepfather. The couple first obtained collectively once they had been each youngsters, they usually grew to become dad and mom once they had been younger and broke. Their relationship was by no means straightforward. Repeatedly, Eminem fantasized about murdering Kim on report — beginning out with “’97 Bonnie And Clyde,” the place he introduced their child daughter in to fortunately babble within the studio, with out her mom’s data.

So far as anybody is aware of, Marshall Mathers by no means bodily abused Kim Scott. If he had, that in all probability would’ve come out in a single lawsuit or one other by now. However you’ll be able to’t actually dwell a wholesome life in case your important different is consistently rapping about killing you. Essentially the most tough tune on 2000’s kajillion-selling Marshall Mathers LP is “Kim” — the one the place a howling, screaming, crying Eminem once more envisions himself murdering the girl who bore his daughter. Em additionally famously had Kim’s tombstone, with the phrase “Rot In Items,” tattooed on his abdomen. In 2000, Marshall Mathers pleaded responsible to assault; he’d pistol-whipped some man in a Scorching Rock Café car parking zone after he noticed him kissing Kim.

Is that abuse? I’m no professional, however I do know that shit ain’t wholesome. Kim Scott tried suicide in 2000, and it wasn’t her final time making an attempt. When Marshall first filed for divorce, Kim sued for emotional misery, in search of an injunction to forestall him from rapping about her anymore. Earlier than the divorce, Eminem mentioned that the tune “Kim” was “like an outtake from one in every of our arguments in on a regular basis life. That’s actually how we combat typically.” (Eminem, it’s price noting, later launched “Unhealthy Husband,” a 2017 song-length apology to Kim. It’s a horrible tune, however I suppose I’m glad it exists.)

The Marshall/Kim saga performed out in public, in Eminem’s lyrics. (Apart from the occasional interview, Kim didn’t actually have a platform to inform her facet of the story.) “Love The Method You Lie” isn’t particularly in regards to the Marshall/Kim relationship, not less than to not the extent that another Eminem songs are, however that historical past hangs heavy over it. The historical past of Chris Brown’s assault on Rihanna — which, if something, was much more public — is all around the monitor, too. That’s why Eminem sought out Rihanna for the collaboration. Rihanna, a fan of Eminem, agreed as a result of she trusted that he didn’t simply need her for sensationalistic enchantment.

“Love The Method You Lie” didn’t begin out with Eminem or Rihanna. As an alternative, the tune started as an instrumental from Alex Da Child, a producer from London. Alex, the son of a Jamaican-born professional footballer, began out making tracks for artists like British soul singer Terri Walker and Toronto rapper Kardinal Offishall. He landed on Eminem’s radar when he co-produced “Airplanes,” the 2010 single that former Quantity Ones artist B.o.B. recorded with Paramore’s Hayley Williams. Eminem jumped on an “Airplanes” remix, and when he was working with different up-and-coming producers on his Restoration album, he needed to listen to extra from Alex Da Child. (“Airplanes” peaked at #2. It’s a 6.)

Eminem wasn’t the primary particular person to work with Alex Da Child’s stormy, depressive, guitar-heavy instrumental. As an alternative, when Eminem heard the monitor’s demo, it already had a hook from Holly Brook Hafermann, the singer-songwriter who information beneath the title Skylar Gray. Gray, a Wisconsin native, obtained her begin in Generations, a people duo along with her mom. In 2005, Gray co-wrote a couple of songs on future Oscar winner Brie Larson’s album Lastly Out Of P.E. (Larson, who was years away from superhero-movie stardom, was in all probability best-known on the time for taking part in Bob Saget’s daughter on a short-lived sitcom. Lastly Out Of P.E. bricked, and Larsen hasn’t made one other album since.) That very same 12 months, Skylar Gray, who was nonetheless recording beneath the title Holly Brook, sang the hook on Linkin Park facet venture Fort Minor’s single “The place’d You Go,” a shock hit that peaked at #4. (It’s a 7.)

After the success of “The place’d You Go,” the girl then generally known as Holly Brook launched one album, 2006’s Like Blood Like Honey, on Linkin Park’s Machine Store imprint. It went nowhere. She moved to Oregon, modified her title to Skylar Gray, and obtained ahold of Alex Da Child’s beat when her writer instructed that they work collectively. Gray later mentioned that “Love The Method You Lie” was impressed each by a tumultuous romantic relationship and by her emotions in regards to the music enterprise, since her historical past within the business felt like its personal sort of abusive relationship. Later, she instructed Genius that she heard the beat and “these lyrics and melody simply flowed out instantaneously. It was like I channeled it from a higher energy.” (Gray’s unique “Love The Method You Lie” demo, with Alex Da Child’s beat, doesn’t appear to be on-line wherever. As an alternative, the monitor labeled as Gray’s unique demo for the tune is an acoustic voice-and-piano monitor. It’s fairly.)

The “Love The Method You Lie” demo touched one thing in Eminem, and he wrote his personal verses to Alex Da Child’s beat. On the tune, Eminem sounds uncooked and anguished. He yells by means of the entire monitor, and his narrator can barely include his fury, each at himself and his companion. Em begins out describing his emotions as “a metal knife in my windpipe.” They’re caught in a relationship that has each of them trapped on a relentless emotional rollercoaster, the place the great components are simply as excessive because the dangerous: “Excessive off her love, drunk from her hate.” By the point the primary verse is over, Em’s narrator is already admitting, “I laid fingers on her, I’ll by no means stoop so low once more.” On the refrain, Rihanna sings about liking the way in which it hurts. You hope it’s metaphorical. You hope a number of issues are metaphorical.

As “Love The Method You Lie” unspools, the scenario that Eminem describes on the tune will get sadder, scarier, extra harmful: “Spewin’ venom in your phrases while you spit ’em/ You push, pull one another’s hair, scratch, claw, bit ’em/ Throw ’em down, pin ’em/ So misplaced within the moments while you’re in ’em/ It’s the craze that took over, it controls you each.” The way in which Eminem lays every thing out, the 2 halves of this relationship appear equally unwell, equally chargeable for making a poisonous atmosphere: “Your mood’s simply as dangerous as mine is, you’re the identical as me.” That’s at all times bothered me.

In a heterosexual couple, the person might be able to inflicting extra bodily ache on his companion. The steadiness isn’t equal. Eminem by no means grapples with that. On this planet of the tune, it’s simply two fucked-up individuals fucking one another up extra. I feel that ignores simply how harmful that sort of scenario will be for a girl. As a lot as he fumes, Em tends to depict his narrator because the sufferer, or not less than as a sufferer: “Advised you that is my fault, look me within the eyeball/ Subsequent time I’m pissed, I’ll intention my fist on the drywall.” As “Love The Method You Lie” ends, Eminem veers again into violent-fantasy territory: “If she ever tries to fuckin’ depart once more, I’ma tie her to the mattress and set this home on hearth.” As soon as once more, you hope it’s a metaphor.

Within the video, it’s undoubtedly a metaphor. The characters maintain trying down at themselves and realizing that they’re on hearth. Director Joseph Kahn had made the cartoonish movies for a bunch of Eminem’s early clips, and this one made for a tough tone-switch. Nonetheless, Kahn’s clip runs the danger of aestheticizing and glamorizing the sort of violence that Eminem depicts on the tune. The video reveals stunning film stars — former Autobot buddy Megan Fox, whose movie Jonah Hex opened on the identical day that the “Love The Method You Lie” single got here out, and former hobbit Dominic Monaghan, who’d ended his arc on Misplaced a couple of years earlier. They don’t appear to be the categories of people that shoplift bottles of gin from liquor shops, and their romantic desperation seems to be like a fragrance industrial.

“Love The Method You Lie” is a extremely spectacular piece of music in a number of methods. There’s a robust distinction between Eminem’s enraged verses and Rihanna’s mournful refrain. The hook is each unhappy and hypnotic, and it’s obtained a sure power-ballad grace. Em’s yelling can get tiresome, however his cadences are simple. He truly rides the beat, which is one thing he was much less and fewer in a position to do at this stage of his profession, and he solely howls out one complete forehead-slap lyrical clunker (“Now you get to observe her miss the window/ Guess that’s why they name it windowpane”).

Alex Da Child’s “Love The Method You Lie” manufacturing is wealthy and diversified, with lots occurring — layered drums, pianos, acoustic guitars. (Rihanna’s common collaborator Makeba Riddick produced her vocals, and she or he earned herself a co-producer credit score on the monitor.) “Love The Method You Lie” sounds much less like rap music and extra just like the sort of airless and digital studio-rock that may develop into more and more well-liked within the subsequent decade. Possibly you received’t be stunned to study that Alex went on to provide a bunch of giant hits for Think about Dragons. (Think about Dragons’ highest-charting single is an Alex Da Child manufacturing: 2012’s “Radioactive,” which peaked at #3. It’s a 4.)

I’m positive “Love The Method You Lie” is an intensely significant tune for an entire lot of individuals. It’s in all probability good to have pop hits that acknowledge the darker realities of life, quite than simply the shimmery escapist fantasy that made Katy Perry such a chart titan in the summertime of “Love The Method You Lie.” Eminem’s single got here out within the context of Restoration, the album the place he tried to get actual with himself and the world, and it got here out because the follow-up to his sobriety anthem “Not Afraid.” “Love The Method You Lie” is a cathartic, absorbing piece of music, however I by no means need to hear it. It stresses me out, and it makes me unhappy. Possibly that’s the intent. Possibly which means it’s profitable.

Not less than on a industrial stage, “Love The Method You Lie” was undoubtedly profitable. The tune obtained airplay on tons of various radio stations — pop, R&B, even grownup modern. It went to #23 on the Scorching Latin Songs chart? I can’t determine that one out. Possibly melodrama transcends language obstacles. The only has gone platinum 13 instances over. (“Not Afraid,” the opposite chart-topping Restoration single, has additionally gone diamond.) “Love The Method You Lie” has greater than a billion Spotify streams. Restoration grew to become the biggest-selling album of 2010; it’s since gone octuple platinum. Eminem was already a industrial titan earlier than “Love The Method You Lie,” however the success of that single remains to be fairly gorgeous, even all these years later.

Later in 2010, Eminem and Rihanna recorded a second model of “Love The Method You Lie” for Rihanna’s Loud album. Rihanna used extra of Skylar Gray’s demo for the tune, and the sequel makes her a bit extra central to the tune’s narrative, although it nonetheless options an entire lot of Eminem’s fuming. On the 2011 Grammys, Rihanna sang that model of “Love The Method You Lie” with Eminem. It was half of a bigger Eminem medley. Em additionally did Dr. Dre’s “I Want A Physician” with Dre and Skylar Gray. “I Want A Physician” was produced by Alex Da Child, not Dre, and Skylar Gray sang the hook. (“I Want A Physician” peaked at #4. It’s a 3.)

For Skylar Gray, these back-to-back performances represented an enormous triumph. She’d lastly damaged by means of. Skylar Gray by no means grew to become a star on her personal, however she’s had a massively profitable profession as a part of Dr. Dre and Eminem’s creative orbit. In the meantime, Eminem saved releasing extra Restoration singles, however none of them did wherever close to in addition to “Love The Method You Lie.”

On “Talkin’ 2 Myself,” one in every of his Restoration album tracks, Eminem says, “I nearly made a tune dissin’ Lil Wayne/ It’s like I used to be jealous of him ’reason for the eye he was gettin’/ I felt horrible about myself/ He was spittin’, and I wasn’t.” As an alternative, Em adopted “Love The Method You Lie” with the weird-ass Lil Wayne collaboration “No Love.” On that one, Em and Wayne traded verses over Simply Blaze’s melodramatic pattern of Haddaway’s eternally tacky 1993 Euro-dance hit “What Is Love.” (“What Is Love” peaked at #11.) Wayne and Eminem had damaging chemistry; their verses appeared to come back from fully completely different songs. “No Love” solely made it to #23.

However Eminem’s industrial fortunes didn’t finish with “Love The Method You Lie,” and neither did these of Rihanna. We’ll see the unlikely Eminem/Rihanna mixture on this column once more.

GRADE: 6/10



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