As the video opens, Rihanna – who seems to be portraying a sort of therapist in the clip (albeit a therapist who wears blue lipstick) – sits the self-proclaimed “Rap God” down to watch a Slim Shady highlight reel. Included are various shots of Eminem in the straightjacket he wore in the “My Name Is” clip, in front of the 8 Mile Rd. Mobile Court from the “Lose Yourself” video and performing “Stan” with Elton John at the 2001 Grammys – all of which are interspersed with words like “violence,” “family” and “addiction.”
As Em watches it, though, it seems to become his reality and he raps “The Monster” from within those scenes, riding a caged elevator as each vignette progresses. Meanwhile, Rihanna sings the chorus in front of a steel gate and a wall with holes being shot through it. As the video progresses, Eminem relives his history.
Eventually, the rapper finds his way to top of the building, and sees an alternate Eminem – maybe the monster in the video – who is trapped in a cage, with soldiers training machine guns on it. The “Monster” throws pieces of paper at the real Slim Shady, who then makes his decision about whether to confront the monster or not.
Eminem talked about his decision to work with Rihanna again in a Rolling Stone cover story earlier this year. He said that the song is “not necessarily a sequel, as much as it is a revisitation,” to his past, as he worked with Rihanna previously on the 2010 single “Love the Way You Lie.” He also added, “To me, it’s more about the vibe, and it’s more about the nostalgia.”