The Marshall Mathers LP 2
|Released||October 29, 2013|
|Label||Interscope, Shady, Aftermath|
|Writer||Marshall Mathers, Bryan Fryzel, Aaron Kleinstub, M. Athanasiou, Robyn Fenty, Jon Bellion, Bebe Rexha|
|Producer||Frequency, Aalias (co-prod.)|
|Single release||October 29, 2013|
|Video release||December 16, 2013|
"Headlights (Ft. Nate Ruess)"
The Monster is a song by Eminem that was released as the fourth and final single off of The Marshall Mathers LP 2, released on October 29, 2013. The song features vocals by Barbadian singer Rihanna, making it the fourth collaboration between the two artist following "Love the Way You Lie" and its sequel (2010), and "Numb" (2012). The song's lyrics present Rihanna coming to grips with her inner demons, while Eminem ponders the negative effects of his fame.
The Monster received positive reviews upon release, charting at Number One in The United States and in eleven other countries. It also marks Eminem's first number one on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and has reached the top ten in Austria, Belgium, Italy and Spain.
Background and Production
Eminem and Rihanna first collaborated on Love the Way You Lie, released as a single off of Eminem's Recovery, which was a critical and commercial success and topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven consecutive weeks. The song's sequel title Love the Way You Lie (Part II) was released as part of Rihanna's fifth studio album Loud; it mainly views matters from the female protagonist perspective. In November 2012, Eminem and Rihanna collaborated again on "Numb", which was included on Rihanna's seventh studio album Unapologetic.
The song was produced by Frequency, who worked with other artist including Ja Rule and Slaughterhouse.
The Monster received positive reviews. Writing for the IBTimes, Tarun Mazumdar reacted positively to it, praising its "memorable lines" and Rihanna's "soulful" vocals and rating it 3.5 out of 5. Amy Sciaretto of PopCrush gave it the same rating and noted that "it’s not nearly as powerful or affective as the previous partnership, but it’s not supposed to be." Allan Raible of ABC News also enjoyed the song, calling it a "a career highlight" and a "personal rhyme about his history." About.com's Bill Lamb had similar thoughts, opining that Eminem's introspection "lends the song engaging power" while also praising Rihanna's vocals.
"The Monster" first entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number three, on November 6, 2013, marking Eminem's third best entry following "Not Afraid" (No. 1, 2010) and "Love the Way You Lie" also featuring Rihanna (No. 2, 2010). This ties "Berzerk", which also debuted at number three on the Hot 100. The entry gave Rihanna her 25th top ten on the chart, equalling Elvis Presley for the eighth-most top tens in the chart's history. This achievement also earned the singer the honor of being the fastest women to accumulate the top ten tally (with eight years and four months since her first single), besting Madonna by three months. Furthermore, the debut marked Rihanna's 45th overall chart entry, tying Mariah Carey for the eighth most chart appearances amongst women.
The music video, directed by Rich Lee, features references to other music videos that Eminem has released including "My Name Is", "Lose Yourself", "The Way I Am" and the 2001 Grammy Awards performance of "Stan" with Elton John.