One Song Story: Eminem - Stan (Long Version) ft. Dido (2000)
The music was inspired by Dido's popular song "Thank you. Eminem's version of "Stan" has become one of the greatest rap songs in history! Though some purists deny it because of prejudice against the artist... In fact, this track made "Stan" a popular slang expression!
The great thing about this track is that it's one of the best narrative rap stories ever! Understandable and definitely interesting, it's like a good movie, albeit with a tragic ending...
The plot of the song revolves around a fictional guy named Stan, who, to say the least, is a distraught Eminem fan. Not getting an answer from his idol, he becomes more and more angry and violent... Eventually he commits suicide, taking the life not only of himself, but also of his pregnant girlfriend...
About the song
Of course, the song "Stan" is just a fiction, but it was inspired by real events. There were a lot of fans in Eminem's life who wrote to him or tried to meet him offstage. Whenever possible, they would just tell him how much his art meant to them...
And all was well... But only until many of them began to take it personally that Eminem didn't reciprocate.
Things got bad... Most of the rapper's songs were taken as justification or even encouragement for violence, drugs... Luckily today even if Eminem talks about his difficult childhood, drug addiction, broken marriage and disorderly social order - he's just expressing his point of view. People are perfectly fine with that, because a lot of people go through the same thing...
But back to the plot of the song. Stan belonged to a certain type of fans who probably expect too much from their idols. He wrote a lot to Eminem, but the letters didn't reach the artist... Eventually, after receiving them, Eminem struggles to reconnect with him, but in the end he's just a man. It's impossible to respond or just be there for the fans at their convenience.
The song tells how Eminem goes to great lengths to connect with a fan... And in real life, this may be true, as the rapper has repeatedly stated how much fans mean to him.
Unfortunately, as with Stan, it may be too late to make the effort... In the story, Eminem couldn't reach out in time.
The video is an interpretation of the story by Dr. Dre and Philip Atwell, featuring Devon Sawa as Stan and singer Daido as his pregnant girlfriend.
Stan sits in a basement full of Eminem posters and writes letters expressing his devotion.
Stan wants Eminem to contact him, but due to unfortunate circumstances the letters do not reach the artist in time... Believing he has been ignored, Stan consumes alcohol, gets behind the wheel and drives down the rain-soaked highway while his girlfriend is locked in the trunk... In an instant the car breaks through a bridge barrier, deciding the fate of both passengers...
At this time, Eminem finally answers Stan. He apologizes for being late, thanks him for his loyalty, and expresses interest in Stan's personal life. Eminem worries about Stan's mental state and says he doesn't want it to end up like the recent news story about the man who drunkenly drove off a bridge with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk... But he soon realizes... "It was you! Shit..." - utters Eminem.
This song is about fans' expectations of the artists... "Stan" is only an artistic masterpiece, but it tells a lot of truth that amazes the listener. And that's one of the reasons why the composition has remained timeless.