Fans of Eminem’s discography will no doubt be aware of the name Kim. The rapper’s on-off, love-hate relationship with her was the subject of multiple songs throughout the years. Both ’97 Bonnie & Clyde and Kim depict the murder of Kim Scott and their real-life relationship was far from peaceful either – the couple married and divorced twice, first in 1999 and second in 2006. Among the more mediatized scandals between the two are Kim attempting suicide after seeing the rapper perform the song named after her live, and Eminem assaulting a bouncer for kissing his wife (detailed in The Kiss skit). The relationship started back in 1987 when a 13-year old Kim noticed a 15-year old Eminem rapping LL Cool J’s I’m Bad at a mutual friend’s house and ended in 2006 with joint custody of their two daughters, Hailie and Whitney.
Rihanna and Chris Brown first made the public aware of their relationship in 2008, after 2 years of collaborations, performances and public displays that generated rumors. Less than a year after, Chris Brown would be charged with felony assault and threats. The two had an intense argument that led to Brown attacking Rihanna in his car, the picture of her with a black eye, bruises and swollen lip surfacing all over the internet shortly after. Though he got out of doing any jail time, Brown had to stay away from Rihanna according to the court orders. After the restraining order expired, the two were seen together again. 2013 saw their relationship once again confirmed as official and a few months later ended again with conflicting schedules cited as the main reason.
Both Eminem and Rihanna used their past abusive relationships as the main inspiration when collaborating on Love the Way You Lie. The pop singer told Access Hollywood that the reason for her joining the rapper was that she understood the lyrics and could connect with them. Eminem described their union as “a tornado meets a volcano.” Besides the two, singer-songwriter Skylar Grey is responsible for writing an original demo of the song and Alex da Kid for producing it.
Love the Way You Lie spent 7 consecutive weeks at number one in Billboard Top 100, before being dethroned by Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream.