Since Love the Way You Lie topped the charts for 7 whole weeks back in 2010, The Monster marks the second collaboration between rapper Eminem and pop singer Rihanna to gain commercial success. Comparisons between the two hits were inevitable, with most critics in favor of the former. Pop Crush felt it was a “much more upbeat and less serious track, sonically speaking” but ultimately “not nearly as powerful or affective”. Vibe noted that the track’s aim was to “recapture the across-the-board success of the unlikely pair’s 2010 worldwide behemoth” but that the final results were “glaringly uneven”. New York Daily News warned us that The Monster is essentially just Eminem and Rihanna repeating themselves.
On the other hand, About Entertainment noted the lyrical differences, explaining that while Love the Way You Lie’s aim was to “take us deep inside the issue of domestic violence”, The Monster explores “the issue of mental illness”. They also highlighted the chorus for its “powerful statement”, which was written by singer and songwriter Bebe Rexha and originally intended for her own debut album.
The popularity of the single led to the two artists embarking on a six-date concert tour in North America called The Monster Tour. Eminem himself shared his impressions on concerting with Rihanna for Direct Lyrics: “As far as me and Rih working together, I think it’s great. I think it’s interesting how our music does intertwine and certain themes and things seem to work together really well. The crowd’s have been incredible, the people have been amazing, it’s been fun”.
The Monster spent 4 consecutive weeks at number one in Billboard Top 100 before being dethroned by Pitbull’s Timber (featuring Kesha)