If you were wondering what motivated Rihanna to appear on Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie,” it wasn’t just because her vocals were suited to it, but that she felt “connected” to references to abusive relationships in the Recovery (review here; download here) track.
The “Umbrella” hitmaker – who was left with facial injuries after being assaulted by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown in February 2009 – agreed to sing on Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie”, as it reminded her of her own experiences.
“It’s something that, you know, we’ve both experienced,… on different sides, different ends of the table,” Rihanna explained. “Eminem pretty much just broke down the cycle of domestic violence and it’s something that people don’t have a lot of insight on.”
Rihanna said that when she received the song from Eminem, she had a feeling it would be special.
“I knew if he sent me a record there must be something to it. It couldn’t just be, ‘Oh, duh! She was in that relationship so we have to get her.’ The lyrics were so deep, so beautiful and intense,” Rihanna gushed. “It’s something that I understood, something I connected with.”
In the song, Eminem raps: “I laid hands on her/I’ll never stoop so low again/I guess I don’t know my own strength”.
Chris, 21, was sentenced to 80 hours of community service, 12 months of domestic violence counseling and five years probation after being found guilty of assaulting Rihanna, and has since spoken out about his humiliation at losing his temper at his ex-girlfriend.
“It’s unbearable to view. It’s something that I have to live with every time they show it,” he said. “I’m embarrassed that I couldn’t control my anger at that time.”