Saturday, February 28, 2015

Song Analysis: The Monster (by Eminem and Rihanna)

One of my favorite new workout songs is 'The Monster', a duet between Rihanna and Eminem
Aside from the powerful rhythm and beat, the lyrics have a lot of depth and useful language phrases.

Useful Language:
  • 'beggars can't be choosy' (or beggars can't be choosers):   When you're given something, it's not right to be picky
  • for wanting my cake and eat it too:  to want things both ways - in this case fame and privacy
  • I'm getting so huge I need a shrink: 'so huge' means so popular.  'shrink' means a psychologist or mental therapist. 
  • My OCD is conking me in the head:  OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, conk means to hit. 
  • Don't shoot the messenger:  is used to tell someone not to get angry at the person delivering bad news
  • Maybe I need a straight jacket, face facts, I am nuts for real:  A straight jacket is a type of restraint used for patients in a mental hospital. 'face facts' means to confront the truth of a situation. To be 'nuts' is to be crazy. 
Discussion Questions
  • Who is 'the monster' in this song?
  • Who are the voices inside of his head saying?
  • What voices do you have inside your head?  What do they say?
  • Would you be willing to trade your privacy for fame?
  • What would you like/hate most about being famous?

Short Video: It's not about the Nail!

Many people feel there are gender differences in the way men and women discuss problems and how they hope their partners respond.  This video pokes fun at some of these differences.

Useful language phrases: 
  • right up on me
  • relentless:  something or someone that doesn't stop or give up
  • sweaters are snagged:  to snag something is to catch or tear (something) on a projection.  image
  • See, you're not listening now :  In the situation 'see' can be used to mean "That's an example of what I'm talking about"'. 
Discussion Questions: 

  • Have you experienced this kind of situation with the opposite gender?
  • If it's not 'about the nail', what is it about?
From   and

Complete Transcript: 

It’s just, there’s all this pressure, you know. And sometimes it feels like it’s right up on me and I can just feel it, like literally feel it in my head and it’s relentless and I don’t know if it’s gonna stop, I mean, that’s the thing that scares me the most, it’s that I don’t know if it’s ever gonna stop.

Ya. Wha-you do a have a nail in your head.

It is not about the nail.

Are you sure, because, I mean, I bet if we got that out of there —

Stop trying to fix it.

No, I’m not trying to fix it, I’m just pointing out that maybe the nail is causing —

You always do this – you always try to fix things when all I really need is for you to just listen.

No, see, I don’t that is what you need, I think what you need is to get the nail out –

See you're not even listening now!

Ok, fine. I will listen, fine.

It’s just – sometimes it’s like – there’s this achy. I don’t know what it is. And I’m not really sleeping very well at all. And all my sweaters are snagged. I mean – all of them.

That sounds really hard.

It is. Thank you.


Oh come on – If you would just –


Friday, February 27, 2015