Written by Marshall Mathers, John Bellion, and Bebe Rexha
Produced by The Frequency
Released October 2013 by Aftermath / Interscope
- Eminem's highly personal and poignant lyrics
- Rihanna's confident, strong vocals
- Pop and rock friendly sound
- No significant negatives
On its surface "The Monster" sounds like one of the most pop friendly of Eminem's singles. However, as you listen more closely to the raps and dig deeper into the song, "The Monster" reveals itself as a highly personal and poignant meditation by the artist. Using the metaphor of a, "monster that's under my bed," to describe making peace with elements that are often considered to be indicative of mental illness, Eminem presents himself as a rapper who has overcome very personal difficulties to become one of the top recording artists of all time who would be happy,"if one kid out of a hundred million
who are going through a struggle feels and then relates."
Previously Eminem joined forces with Rihanna to take us deep inside the issue of domestic violence on the massive hit single "Love the Way You Lie." Now they explore the issue of mental illness and conclude with the powerful statement in the chorus, "You think I'm crazy...well, that's not fair." Singer Bebe Rexha wrote the hook of the song when she was dealing with her own depression. The song does not speak about overcoming personal struggles, but instead it presents making peace as a way of moving forward.
Musically, "The Monster" kicks off with strong vocals from Rihanna delivering the song's chorus. Eminem soon kicks in with the first verse showing palpable emotion and using almost a jazzy swing in his delivery. Producer The Frequency uses an organic sounding rock leaning arrangement occasionally punctuated by electronic effects. "The Monster" would sound great on mainstream pop radio.
At age 41 Eminem is delivering some of the most thoughtful music of his career. His own introspection lends the songs engaging power. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is one of the most eagerly awaited new releases of the fall. "The Monster" is a standout track of the season.