Rumored artwork for Eminem and Rihanna‘s collaboration “The Monster” found it’s way online. The track is on Em‘s highly anticipated Marshall Mathers LP 2 album and is confirmed to be the next single from the project. It will be serviced to radio on October 28th. Little to no details about the track have been revealed, until now.
The co-writer of the track, singer Bebe Rexha of Staten Island opened up about “Monster,” a song which has an emotional hook. The singer stepped out of Harlem‘s Stadium Red recording studio booth and before the track was even finished, she said “this is an Eminem record, y’all,” even though she was originally working on her debut album with production team The Monsters.
“I was in a really dark place, a dark head space,” remembers the 24-year-old Warner Bros. artist of writing the track that would become Eminem and Rihanna’s fourth collabo. “Figuring out where you are in life and trying to make shit work for yourself—it gets to you. You get super down on yourself. I was just trying to get out of a depressed phase. That’s where [the song] came from.”
The inspiration for “The Monster” was found in a quote she read:
Bebe says, cryptically, that the initial inspiration for Eminem’s demon-battling next single all spawned from a quote she read “about the monsters that are around us and that live inside of us.” She’d been discouraged about being dropped from her deal at Island Def Jam but knew this was a special record, one that could define her in both a personal and professional capacity.
The song found it’s way onto Eminem‘s MMLP2 when Frequency (producer of “The Monster“) was in the studio with Riggs Morales, Shady Records VP of A&R.
When he played “The Monster” Morales “freaked out,” instantly asking for the verses to be stripped and ProTools sessions to send to Eminem.
Bebe says the song is special:
“It’s such a special song,” says Bebe, currently riding the wave of her dance hit “Take Me Home” with EDM duo Cash Cash. “I know when [Eminem] heard it, it spoke to him.”
And Em spoke back, adding his own verses and tweaking the instrumental, yet leaving the Armenian songbird’s backing vocals intact. “The way that I sing in it, it can’t be duplicated,” she adds. “It’s very unique to my artistry.” When she read a vague tweet from Rihanna with the hashtag “monster,” she had the funniest feeling that the Bajan badass would be the pop cherry on top.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) September 11, 2013
“The Monster” feels like a darker record, coming from a lighter place.
“The record and lyrics feel dark, but it’s coming from a really light place,” says Bebe, who hasn’t yet heard Eminem and Rihanna’s final version of her demo (slated to hit radio Oct. 28). “I had a moment where I was like, I’m so tired of waiting for other people to accept me. I’m fucked-up, but that’s OK… You get to the point where you’re like, I’m just doing me and if people don’t like it, then it is what it is.”
If you’re not familiar with the sound of Bebe Rexha, listen to her below in a cover of Drake‘s “Hold On We’re Going Home“.
Update: “The Monster” is out now. Listen here.