“Stan” is a song written by Eminem and produced by Dr. Dre, Marshall Mathers III (Eminem)’s alter ego in the song.
It tells the story of an obsessive fan who kills himself and his pregnant girlfriend after being neglected by Eminem.
The song was released as the second single from “The Marshall Mathers LP”.
The album came out on November 13th, 2000, with no promotion or warning whatsoever.
Hip-hop fans have been wondering whether the song emanates from a true story. Sit tight to find out.
The character of Stan is a personification and representation of his fans.
The song epitomizes those fans who will go to great lengths for their idol.
The song tells the story from three different perspectives.
First is Eminem’s account at the beginning, where he realizes that life isn’t what it seems.
Second is Stan’s perspective during his descent into madness.
And finally, Eminem’s final verse describes him frantically trying to get back at Slim Shady through any means possible.
RECOMMENDED: Is Eminem the Fastest Rapper in the World?
The Song Told From Three Different Perspectives
“Stan” begins with an anxious fan writing a letter directly to Eminem.
He explains how much he loves his music but also criticizes some songs’ messages in detail.
Notably, the fan bashes “Drug Ballad”, which is about not giving in when you are tempted by drugs.
Another track is “Amityville”, about Eminem’s house burning down.
The fan mentions that if he ever meets Slim Shady, he would want to shake his hand.
But he also warns him never to come near him because of fears that the rapper might steal his girlfriend.
The song then segues into Stan’s point of view as a murder plays out.
Armed with a gun, Stan takes his pregnant lover by force from her parents’ home.
The parents apologize for not understanding their love before she is driven away. She later dies at the hands of her boyfriend at their house.
“Stan” ends with Eminem receiving another letter from an obsessed fan. It is the first letter he had received, which was written in the third person.
Did you know?Eminem Annotates His Own Lyrics on Genius.com
The song ends with Eminem’s frantic attempts to save his life by trying to contact Stan through phone calls and emails.
Eminem does not know that both of them died at their home on a rainy spring night.
Theories Interpreting Stan
“Stan” has been interpreted in many ways. Some say it refers to Eminem’s troubled relationship with Dido.
Others interpret “stan” as an acronym for “stalker fan,” while there are those who believe it stands for “Student Taking A New Perspective.”
The most popular theory is that the title character was based on late rapper Biggie Smalls (Notorious B.I.G.).
Here, the theory is that the song was written as a response to Biggie’s “Long Kiss Goodnight”, which features lyrics from Stan.
Is Stan A True Story?
Eminem’s stan is not based on a true story even though there are true stories similar to his lyrics.
The rapper’s song is entirely fictional.
Ranking and Awards
Stan” is often cited as one of Eminem’s greatest songs. It ranked #18 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs Of All Time”.
The song has sold over five million copies in the United States alone, becoming one of his best-selling singles to date.
It also made history by winning three Grammy Awards at the 2001 ceremony for Best Rap Solo Performance, Song Of The Year, and Best Music Video.
Stan Feature on “BoJack Horseman” (a TV show)
In an episode of the popular Netflix show “BoJack Horseman”, the main character, Bojack (a talking horse) comes across an episode of Horsin’ Around by chance.
The episode features a special guest star: Stan.
Stan partakes in several shenanigans with his friends and mentors before being met with tragedy at the end of their adventures.
Bojack becomes distraught after watching the episode.
It reminds him that he has been neglecting his life’s purpose since becoming famous for playing a successful sitcom actor on TV.
Meanwhile, this other character from another world who is similar to himself appears to have lost everything.
Both did not take advantage of opportunities while they were available.
In the final moments, both characters lament together over how things could have turned out had everything played out as they had expected.