LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE | THE RIHANNA AND SKYLAR GREY VERSIONS
I just saw the version where Eminem sang Not Afraid in the 2010 MTV VMAs.
And he combo-ed this with Love The Way You Lie alongside Rihanna.
This is awesome.
With that said, I have been checking out a lot of Eminem these past few weeks and his version with Skylar Grey on Radio is great as well. This is nuts, considering that she's the one covering the song she co-wrote with Alex Da Kid.
I think the difference between the artists is that while Skylar Grey's version has a hint of desperation in it, Rihanna's take has this thing with going all out or giving something a chance. I mean, Rihanna is a more recognizable artist compared to Skylar Grey so obviously, it's hard to package Rihanna as the girl in need.
And it also takes a turn when they interact with Eminem. Rihanna's commanding presence makes Eminem her equal while in Skylar's version, I feel she needs help and his inclusion in the track makes him the "knight in shining armor". I'm sorry but that's how I look at it - even the fact that she's sitting on her keyboard alongside the band while Rihanna is standing side by side with him to the point of becoming background and she does the chorus.
Again, it doesn't bring any of the lyrics down. One can also say that Skylar's version is more heartfelt because Rihanna's worldwide fame is kind of giving the song a "commercial feel" as if she just browsed for songs that she thinks are cool and she just so happens to "dig" the Skylar Grey-penned lyric.
And this is just my opinion. In no shape or form, one must think of this as a canon. As I mentioned, both versions give out some sort of vibe. When Skylar performs the piece without the keyboards holding her movements back, she turns into an empowered woman that's hellbent to take every opportunity given to her.
It feels like this song is turning into her "Lose Yourself", only the song is about pushing a person to the limits by his or her lonesome.
At least that's how I interpret this.