After watching one of Eminem’s latest videos, Love The Way You Lie featuring Rihanna, one would be tempted to answer with a firm “yes”.
A lot of journalists have spilled a lot of ink about the prolific and controversial artist, some with insight, some others showing their plain ignorance of the subject.
Back in the days, Eminem used to say, in a very provocative way: ” I don’t promote violence, I just encourage it.” In fact, it is not the first time that the painful thread of domestic violence appears in Eminem’s music. It goes back to the ‘ 97 Bonnie and Clyde song, taken out of the Slim Shady LP, in which Eminem even involved his little daughter Hailie Jade, 2 and a half years old at the time, making a somber accomplice of her in the dark fictional murder of Kim.
Again, the Kim song from the Marshall Mathers LP depicts violence and murder against Kim.
Then again you see Eminem in Love The Way You Lie acting as a violent man, being involved in rough domestic disputes.
One could easily jump to the conclusion that Marshall Mathers is a violent man in real life and that he probably beat his ex wife up all the time.
However, the attentive listener needs to take some distance from Eminem as an artist. His texts need to be analyzed within the specific biographical context of his, in which he struggled to get his girlfriend back and wrote her a very strange ” love letter”, using shock value and violence for Kim to take his pain into account.
I admit that this is not a very conventional way to express love, but whatever…Eminem is a complex artist and he would ridicule anybody who would be tempted to take his music too literally. In addition, Debbie Mathers, his own mom ( despite all the arguments that ever opposed both parts) testified publicly that her son never ever” laid a finger on Kim”.
The reason why the video Love The Way You Lie exists is to raise people’s consciences, especially women, for them to understand that domestic violence is never the answer. No matter your background, age and how much you pretend to love somebody, if a man starts beating you up, leave him straight away. He’ll never change.
Copyright by Isabelle Esling
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