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Music Discussions

The Monster
10/28/2013

Dynamic ImageMain Point of Discussion: We all struggle with our fallen nature, and Jesus Christ is the only solution to the destructive 'monster' that lives inside us.

The Song: “The Monster”
Eminem and Rihanna have teamed up again to produce another smash hit, but the theme of “The Monster” is radically different than “Love the Way You Lie.” In this collaboration, a gothic looking Dr. Rhianna provides some psychoanalysis for Eminem’s haunting past and present. This is definitely a different theme for Eminem compared to his usual offerings, and the song/video explores a deeper philosophical theme that is very common with people, especially teenagers.

NOTE: You can present the song and its lyrics any number of ways, from downloading the track and playing it while your students read from lyric sheets you’ve passed around or showing the music video from YouTube.

Introducing the Song:
Most of us are familiar with Eminem as well as Rihanna. In fact, most of us are familiar with their collaborative hit “The Monster.” I want us to take a listen to the song’s message as we watch the music video; then we’ll discuss the theme of the hit track. Let’s check it out.

Song Lyrics: "The Monster”

I'm friends with the monster
That's under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You're trying to save me
Stop holding your breath
And you think I'm crazy
Yeah, you think I'm crazy (crazy)

I wanted the fame, but not the cover of Newsweek
Oh well, guess beggers can't be choosey
Wanted to receive attention for my music
Wanted to be left alone in public excuse me
Been wanting my cake, And eat it too
And wanting it both ways
Fame made me a balloon cause my ego inflated
When I blew seep and it was confusing
Cause all I wanted to do is be the Bruce Lee of loose leaf
Abused ink, used it as a tool when I blew steam
Hit the lottery (oh wee)
With what I gave up to get was bittersweet
It was like winning a huge meet
Ironic 'cause I think I'm getting so huge I need a shrink
I'm beginning to lose sleep: one sheep, two sheep
Going cuckoo and cookey as Kool Keith
But I'm actually weirder than you think
Cause I'm...

I'm friends with the monster
That's under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You're trying to save me
Stop holding your breath
And you think I'm crazy
Yeah, you think I'm crazy
Well, that's nothing
oh oh oh oh
Well, that's nothing
oh oh oh oh

Now I ain't much of a poet
But I know somebody once told me to seize the moment
And don't squander it
Cause you never know when it could all be over
Tomorrow so I keep conjuring
Sometimes I wonder where these thoughts spawn from
(Yeah, ponder it, do you want this? there's no wonder you're losing your mind the way you're wandering?)
I think you've been wandering off down yonder and stumbled onto Jeff VanVonderen
Cause I needed an interventionist to intervene between me and this monster
And save me from myself and all this conflict
Cause the very thing that I love is killing me and I can't conquer it
My OCD is conking me in the head
Keep knocking, nobody's home, I'm sleepwalking
I'm just relaying what the voice in my head saying
Don't shoot the messenger, I'm just friends with the...

I'm friends with the monster
That's under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You're trying to save me
Stop holding your breath
And you think I'm crazy
Yeah, you think I'm crazy
Well, that's nothing
oh oh oh oh
Well, that's nothing
oh oh oh oh

Call me crazy, but I had this vision
One day that, I'd walk amongst you a regular civilian
But, until then,
drums get killed and I'm Coming straight at
Emcees, blood get spilled and I
Take it back to the days that, I get on a Dre track
Give every kid who got played at
Pumped the feeling
and sh*t to say back
To the kids who played 'em
I ain't here to save the f**king children
But if one kid out of a hundred million
Who are going through a struggle feels and it relates that's great
It's payback, Russell Wilson falling way back
In the draft, turn nothing into something still, can make that
Straw in the gold chump I will spend
Rumpelstiltskin in a hay stack
Maybe I need a straightjacket, face facts
I am nuts for real, but I'm okay with that
It's nothing, I'm still friends with the...

I'm friends with the monster
That's under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You're trying to save me
Stop holding your breath
And you think I'm crazy
Yeah, you think I'm crazy
I'm friends with the monster
That's under my bed
(Get along with)
Get along with the voices inside of my head
(You're tryna)
You're trying to save me
Stop holding your breath
And you think I'm crazy
Yeah, you think I'm crazy
Well, that's nothing

The Music Video:



Transitional Statement:
As you have probably noticed in the song, Eminem seems to be struggling with what he calls “The Monster.” For him, the monster takes several forms in life. But one thing rings true over and over again: he’s befriended the monster instead of overcoming it. Given the popularity of this song, many of us, if not all of us, can relate to Eminem’s problem. We all have consistent struggles and the Bible makes it clear that our struggle is with our fallen nature, and Jesus Christ is the only solution to the destructive 'monster' that lives inside us. Let’s talk about that for a few minutes to see how we can address the monsters in our lives.


Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we dive in, everybody tell us your name and if you were ever afraid of a ‘boogieman’ or a monster under the bed?

  2. ASK A FEW: Do you think most people would trade places with Eminem? Why or why not?

  3. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What do you think Eminem is referring to when he sings about “the monster”?

  4. ASK A FEW: Why do you think he chose a ‘therapy session’ setting for this music video?

  5. ASK A FEW: Do you think most people have a “monster” inside them that they are dealing with? Why or why not?

  6. ASK A FEW: What advice would you give Eminem for dealing with the monster inside him?

  7. Introducing the passage:
    Leader, it might be helpful to introduce the concept of our fallen nature and its constant ability to pull us away from serving Jesus when we give into temptation.

    Read the following passage:

      Romans 7:18-25 (The Message)

      If the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

      It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

      I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

      The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

  8. ASK A FEW: What connections are there between the “monster” that Eminem talks about and the struggles that Paul talks about?

  9. ASK A FEW: In what ways can you relate to the following statement: “Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time”?

  10. ASK A FEW: What would Paul say about becoming “friends with the monster”?

  11. ASK A FEW: Why doesn’t God just take away our sin nature when we put our trust in Jesus for salvation?

  12. ASK A FEW: Very specifically, how can our relationship with Jesus Christ give us power over our sin nature?

  13. ASK A FEW: How does our “friendship with Jesus” impact our “friendship with the monster”?

  14. ASK A FEW: Can a Christian maintain both friendships? Why or why not?

  15. ASK A FEW: How important is it that we never give up the struggle with our sin nature? Why?

  16. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is one “monster” you are going to attack with Jesus this week?

Wrap Up:
During our time together, we took a close listen to Eminem’s and Rihanna’s song “The Monster.” It’s an interesting tune, to say the least. For starters, it gives us a glimpse inside the mind of a couple of megastars, but it’s also an honest assessment of the fear and turmoil that’s brewing inside them every single day.

Of course, that makes most of us think about the monsters we having hiding under our beds or in our minds or in our hearts. We talked about them in our small group time. What I hoped you learned was this: every monster can be overcome by the power of Jesus, but no monster can be overcome by our power alone. That’s why it’s so important for us to place our full hope and trust in Jesus.


(Take a moment to pass out 3x5 index cards and writing tools.)

In some ways, we could look at our sin nature as a “friend” in the sense that it reminds us of what we used to be and how Jesus freed us from our “monsters.” But at the same time, we need to totally depend on His strength and the power of His resurrection to keep our sin nature from destroying us. To help us with that, please think through what name you would give the ‘monster’ inside your head. After you name that monster, write out a prayer to Jesus asking Him for specific help in giving you freedom from the sin nature that can destroy you.

If you’d like to talk about the monster in your life a little more, I invite you to hang around after we close in prayer. I or one of our adult leaders will be happy to sit and listen to you and give you any help we can. We love you and want you to overcome your monsters.


Close in Prayer

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Comments on this post

   Kris          2/7/2014 11:49:15 AM

Our group loved this discussion! I highly recommend it.















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