Note: this review deals with adult themes. The song referred to contains profanity, drug references and a story about domestic abuse. Please use caution in listening to it.
This song is haunting me. The opening lyrics and chorus are chilling enough. The rest of the song is a nightmare.
The song, I Love the Way You Lie, is the story of an abusive relationship told by both the girl’s and guy’s point of view, sung by Eminem and Rihanna. It starts with her saying that she likes the way it hurts and goes back to that throughout the song. The verses are about his inner struggle.
He feels pain, because they’re fighting, but then admits he’s addicted to the feeling he gets when they fight. She’s leaving, but he wants her back. He tells about how things are good between them sometimes, but when they’re terrible, he hurts her. He reminisces about when they fell in love and talks about the sorrow that brought him to the place where they’re physically hurting each other. Even knowing that it’s bad for them to be together, he still wants her back because he says he loves her.
Up and down he goes for three verses. He seems to get it. He knows he’s going to run out of apologies. He knows he needs to change. He can see how things are going terrible. Then he wonders if maybe the fighting actually is fine, just what happens between two extreme personalities. Then he realizes that everything he’s saying to her are lies. It seems there will be a happy ending perhaps.
But the ending lines from him say that if she every tries to leave again, he’ll tie her to a bed and set the house on fire. And that’s when she comes in again saying that she likes the way it hurts when he watches her burn. This isn’t an imaginary fire. She really is burning.
Wow. Why am I even writing about this? Because the song is madly popular right now, top-selling on iTunes, #2 on Billboard. My friends wanted me to hear it. I listened. I cried a lot.
What is going on? What is humanity coming to?
Figuring there would be a huge controversy over this, I looked for reviews online, but what I found was not what I expected. I can only find articles praising this song, saying it is beautiful and a great message with a good ending about domestic abuse, with Eminem being repentant.
I’m sorry. I think I missed something. Since when is wanting to set someone on fire a good resolution?
I’m so torn up about this message that I hardly know where to go from here.
Let’s get something straight though: this is not just entertainment. No one writes stuff like this for the sake of money. Eminem and Rihanna have gone through relationships like this. There are plenty of things they could have written about that would have sold equally well. They feel the message, which is why they put it out there. As an artist, I know you can’t write and perform something that you don’t feel.
Why does this message resonate in us, the listeners? Even just listening to this song a couple times, I feel myself being drawn into the weary resignation that the girl has. It is an attitude that I see and feel everywhere in society. If we can’t change it, why bother fighting it? If they’re going to beat us up, why not just make up our mind to like it? It is a sick attitude, but it’s an attitude Satan feeds us so that we just give up fighting against evil.
It does give an intense picture into domestic violence. But it’s just a frightening one. How many men will decide that it’s acceptable to burn their partners if they’re unfaithful? And how many guys will get the idea that girls actually like this?
The sad thing is that I can understand the attitude. We have so much apathy and division in society that terrible loneliness in inevitable. So if a guy is fighting for you, even if that’s manifested by him fighting with you, doesn’t that mean that he still cares? If he didn’t care about you at all, he’d just let you leave, right?
God, help us.
I don’t have an answer, besides Jesus. He is the only answer. This song is just another picture into the emptiness and despair that we live with. I pray for Eminem and Rihanna now.
Guys, if you can relate to this, love never manifests itself through violence. If you love her, you will not hurt her.
Girls, do you get this? If they guy hurts you, it doesn’t matter why. You have to leave.
Parents, why are you letting your kids listen to music like this?
When we hear things like this, it should bring us to our knees, begging God for mercy and grace, asking for Him to rescue people out of these situations. It should shake us to the core. It should drive us to wake up every morning with a fire in our soul, driving us to do insane things, for the sake of saving a few from having to last through this living hell.
“God, I want to reach souls. I want to help people so that they can see You! I want to be the one telling them about You. I want to be the one that gets to share that joy with them. I want to transfer this peace to others. I want to pass along the burden so that we can bring Your light to others. I want to bring people to the foot of the cross. I want to live there, God. Lord, please build me a house at the foot of the cross. I want the blood to drip from Your feet onto my head so that I never forget Your sacrifice, so that every day I’m madly propelled to get up in the morning. Make my heart beat in sync with Yours. Be the reason for my waking up in the morning. Be the One holding my hand as I run towards the lions, rescuing my friends from their mouths. God, I can’t be silent anymore. I can’t keep this inside of me. I just had this encounter with joy and I can’t STAND the idea of it being stuck inside me. God, I don’t want to sleep now, because I don’t want to forget what this feels like. I don’t want to forget what’s going on in the world. I don’t want to be so found that I don’t remember what it’s like to be lost. I don’t want to separated from the lost. I want to see them every second of the day. God, please haunt me with them. You see them everywhere, every part of the day, the hurting, suffering, broken, empty, dying, and I want have the picture of Your risen scarred hands burned in my soul and the faces of the lost and tormented seared into my heart, so that I cannot have a moment’s peace unless I’m bringing more people into Your kingdom. God, use me.”