Ever since his second album in 1999 Eminem has become a household name in America. With overwhelming success in the world comes fans that will appreciate and love content that one releases. While having fans is often a sign of accomplishment and could be viewed as a positive achievement in the world, it may not always be a good thing. Obsessive fans have always been a presence in the entertainment industry, however, most celebrities are portrayed as too nice and kind to address these toxic and often zealous individuals. Eminem being the open person that he is, decided to tackle these fans in 2000 with the release of his song “Stan.”
“Stan”, tells the tale of a crazed stalker-fan simply named Stan. With the help of singer Dido, Eminem created one of the most memorable and impactful songs of his career. The song depicts Stan continuously writing letters to Eminem in hopes to finally get a reply from him. The song is an interesting concept as the letters become the main storytelling aspect while Dido provides the chorus by using her song “Thank You.” to further set the tone of the song. Throughout the song, Stan becomes more and more aggressive and irritable with each letter and eventual cassette that he sends to Eminem. Stan, being the obsessive fan that he is, decides to take things to the extreme in the song. Stan decides to get an “Eminem” tattoo, slit his wrists, and eventually kill himself and his pregnant girlfriend all because of his devotion to the rapper.
The song comes to a close as Eminem finally has time to sit down and write back to Stan and offers him life advice and assures him that he appreciates him as a fan but is still creeped out by Stan’s obsessiveness. By the time Eminem has time to write back, he realizes that Stan is already dead along with his girlfriend and their unborn child. This unfortunate ending is tragic as Eminem shows how far someone could go for someone they’re obsessed with while not knowing that help was only a short while away.
With the release of the song, the term “Stan” has been coined by fans of Eminem and is used to describe obsessive fans who exhibit a mindset similar to Stan. Almost 20 years later, “Stan” is as impactful as ever as social media has taken over the world and fans have more access to their favorite celebrities in an easier fashion with an easier way to voice their obsessive thoughts towards these individuals. The song is considered by many to be one of the best if not the best Eminem song next to his very notable song, “Lose Yourself”. Regardless, of the era, Eminem’s timeless classic lives on through the headphones and speakers of many as a tragic tale of obsession that simply cannot be replicated.