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Eminem, ‘The Monster’ Feat. Rihanna – Song Meaning

Eminem Rihanna
Kevin Winter / Cameron Spencer, Getty Images

Eminem and Rihanna have partnered up again for ‘The Monster,’ which is not ‘Love the Way You Lie, V. 2.0.’ While that smash hit addressed societal hot topics like domestic abuse and violence, and a love that hurts, this song ponders mental issues related to fame.

In the lyrics, Em muses about his station in life and how he deals in fame, while RiRi comes in during the majorly hooky choruses, singing about befriending the monster under the bed. That monster is not some figment of her imagination or some creepy creature that only comes out at night. Not. Even. Close. The monster may not be a part of her imagination, but it is a part of her mind.

And we all know that it’s what we can’t see that is often more terrifying than what we can actually see.

Let’s break down the meaning behind ‘The Monster.’

“I wanted the fame, but not the cover of Newsweek / Oh well, guess beggars can’t be choosy / Wanted to receive attention for my music / Wanted to be left alone in public / Excuse me / For wanting my cake / And eat it too / And wanting it both ways / Fame made me a balloon cause my ego inflated.”

Fame is a mind you-know-what. So many celebrities have trouble dealing with insane levels of fame — just ask Brit Brit or Mimi. The brutal, chew-you-up-and-spit-you-out cycle of fame can take an already damaged psyche and make things worse. Here, Em suggests that he prefers the success with his passion — music — to the fame, but that he couldn’t escape the latter. That in and of itself can be an addiction. As we know, success and fame are two very different things.

“No, I ain’t much of a poet but I know somebody / Once told me to seize the moment and don’t squander it / ‘Cause you never know when it all could be over tomorrow / So I keep conjuring, sometimes I wonder / Where these thoughts spawn from / Yeah, ponder it, do you want this? No wonder you losing your mind, the way it wanders.”

Despite knowing better, whatever is going on inside Em’s brain and between his ears is what takes control and what asserts dominance in his thought patterns. Fame might be something many seek, but so many can’t handle it, and the rapper seems to realize that there is a delicate balance between success and fame, one that he knows he must navigate carefully, since both can go buh-bye at any time.

“I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed / Get along with the voices inside of my head / You’re trying to save me, stop holding your breath / And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy / Well, that’s nothing / Well, that’s nothing.”

The Rihanna hook is not only unforgettable, thanks to the melody, but it’s also rich in meaning, since the monster under the bed seems to be herself. They are one and the same and there is no need to try and stamp it out or deny it. Knowing and accepting your problems and limitations is half the battle. Why stuff ‘em down? Why not embrace the crazy? After all, aren’t we all a little crazy? We can’t divorce ourselves from the crazy inside of our brains. Why not indulge and celebrate it? It’s more fun that way.

That’s what we think ‘The Monster’ is about. PopCrushers, what do you think? Are we on point with our lyrical breakdown or do you think it’s about something else? Tell us your interpretation in the comments below.

Next: What Is Katy Perry's 'Unconditionally' About?

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