Stan by Eminem (Ft. Dido)
Marshal Mathers also known as Eminem is known as one of the most controversial artists in Hip/Hop. He is known for talking about topics such as murder, domestic violence, and suicide. Topics such as these are considered taboo amongst mass media, but the “Marshal Mathers Lp” being the highest-selling Hip/Hop album of all time, shows that Eminem is capable of breaking traditional cancel culture, unlike any other artist.
In particular, “Stan” is one of Eminem’s greatest pieces of work, and in some views, it is considered one of the greatest rap songs of all time. His ability to tell a story all at the pace of a beat is sometimes incomprehensible to the common listener. Eminem in particular is known for his advanced rhyme schemes and meticulous play on words, this song, in particular, isn’t about a masterful rhyme scheme though. Instead, it takes a slower pace and just tells a story.
Stan is a reference to a fan who is obsessed with a famous person. They devote their lives to these artists by acting like them and acquiring features that are similar to the artist. In this song, the main character is named Stan. Stan does everything that a “Stan” would do. The song is narrated as a reading of the Letters that Stan has written for eminem. Each letter becomes more and more passionate as Eminem doesn’t respond. These letters are told in form of a verse and each verse represents one letter written. These verses are broken up by a chorus that goes:
“My tea’s gone cold I’m wondering why I
Got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
And I can’t see at all
And even if I could it’ll all be gray
Put your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it’s not so bad
It’s not so bad”
The thing that is so impressive about this song is its ability to not feel like poetry. Each line is jam-packed with hidden material and a rhyme scheme but it just feels like you listening to someone read a handwritten letter out loud. It’s not until you think about it deeper than the first listen, that you understand how difficult that is to achieve but also how poetic this song truly is.
The letters end in Stan killing himself along with his pregnant wife. It’s very grim and has a lot of shock value to the listener. But it’s Eminem so what did you expect. Eminem writes Stan back, but it is too late and he exclaims his discomfort towards Stan’s obsession as a whole. Eminem wrote this song as a dramatic way to tell his fans that his music is never that serious. Nothing he says or does should be taken so seriously as to end up like Stan. Even if you support or are against Eminem’s music, you should never care about it enough to where you act out on a dangerous scale. Even though Stan is an extreme representation of what this looks like. Eminem feels that some people arent to far from what his song “Stan” talks about
4 thoughts on “There is a crazy fan in all of us”
I think that today’s culture places too much of an emphasis on the celebrity over the regular person. People can sometimes define themselves and their personalities not on their qualities and/or characteristics, but instead on their interests. Some times we can meet people and we won’t be able to tell if they were kind or interesting or monotonous but all that we can remember is that they like dressing up a certain way and listen to certain music. I think that Eminem make this song as a rejection of the modern celebrity worship, suggesting the inherent absurdity to songs in general.
I love how this song can change perspectives while still holding the same overall theme. It has a letter feeling to it which can paint the picture of the relationship portrayed perfectly.
The background you gave before diving into the poem itself was super helpful and fun to read. Nice job!
Like Teagan said above, the background on the poem was incredibly helpful and taught me a lot about Eminem. I liked your analysis and perspective you shared on “Stan” and the celebrity obsession. I think it is incredibly relevant and offers a great conversation and to what makes celebrities famous and why fans become so obsessed when they are in fact human beings just like them.