The shocking images of domestic violence in the new Eminem/Rihanna video for “Love the Way You Lie” have sparked a heated debate online about the depiction of an abusive relationship in a music video. And though Slim Shady has chronicled his contentious relationship with twice-ex-wife Kim Mathers throughout his career, the “Lie” video is certainly not the first time the topic has been dealt with in a video.
The clip for [artist id=”1165858″]Ashanti’s[/artist] 2003 song “Rain on Me” also depicted the seesaw battle between intense love and physical violence, as the singer moved from hugging and holding hands with her video boo to using makeup to cover the bruises and scars after their altercations. Similarly, [artist id=”961097″]Ludacris'[/artist] collabo with [artist id=”854″]Mary J. Blige[/artist] on 2006’s “Runaway Love” showed teenage runaways who fled their homes after abuse at the hands of their stepdads and mothers’ boyfriends, who also laid hands on their mom. The topic has been ripe for other rappers, including [artist id=”6865″]Eve[/artist], who released “Love Is Blind” in 2000, which chronicled her anger at her friend’s abusive boyfriend and her plot of revenge against him.
The topic has also been covered by country artists, including the [artist id=”501687″]Dixie Chicks[/artist], who took a kitschy, “Thelma & Louise” approach in their “Goodbye Earl” clip, in which the battered woman gets her revenge for landing in intensive care after a beating. In the video for 2002’s “Family Portrait,” Pink and her childhood doppelgänger relive the chaos and drama of “growing up in World War III” by trying to remember the good times, but not lingering on images of abuse.
Even if they didn’t address the issue directly in their videos, plenty of other acts have also written songs about dating and married violence, from Sublime (“Date Rape”) and Nirvana (“Rape Me” and “Polly”) to Christina Aguilera (“I’m Okay”), Tori Amos (“Me and a Gun”), Suzanne Vega (“My Name Is Luka”) and Em’s own “Kim.”
Nickelback sang about personal violence on their first major album, Silver Side Up, on the song “Never Again,” which had harsh depictions of domestic abuse, and though the original video was never officially released — a live version was issued instead — it can still be found online.
While Em’s “Lie” has mostly been praised for its serious handling of the issue, another often controversial artist, shock rocker Marilyn Manson, was widely panned for his ultra-violent “Running to the Edge of the World” clip, in which he seemed to be glorifying violence against women by beating up on a bloodied female who resembled his then-ex-fiancée Evan Rachel Wood.
How do you think “Love the Way You Lie” handled domestic violence? Let us know in the comments.