Young people are always searching for ways to cope. In their quest for answers, many turn to the poets whispering in their ears day and night. Two of those poets just rose to the top of the Billboard charts with their song about fighting “the monster.”
I’m referring to the new No 1 song, The Monster, from Emenim, featuring Rihanna. The song carved a slice of history for each artist on the music charts and is the 11th song to go No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this year (as we outlined in our annual Youth Culture Window article about the top hits of 2013, reviewing all 11 of these songs).
But what answers do Eminem and Rihanna provide with The Monster?
Eminem raps about many of the struggles he’s faced with fame, sharing candidly about some of the disappointments and letdowns. Then Rihanna chimes in with the hook:
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 holdin’ your breath
And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy
Many speculate what the song means, but the songs writer, Jon Bellion spells it out clearly:
“I wrote the lyric, ‘I’m friends with the Monsters that’s under my bed’ mainly because sometimes you can’t necessarily get rid of your demons. You can’t necessarily, completely just not be fearful or not have an addiction or a problem so you kind of have to live with it and learn to like, kind of live with monsters. He’s not going to go away. The monster is still there but he’s got to learn to live with it and deal with it and kind of co-exist with your demons ’cause demons will never just be gone. You’ll never just be happy your entire life.”
And that might be the conclusion many come to.
Is that all we have to offer?
Or is there more to this life?
Perhaps this song might be a springboard to these conversations… don’t you think?