Stan

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.

Favorite Song Friday #9

6/21/19

“Forgot About Dre”

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Dr. Dre is without a doubt one of the most influential, successful, and known talents in all of hip-hop. Being a member of N.W.A surely gave Dr. Dre his notoriety but it wasn’t until his 1992 album The Chronic came out. This album is a classic in every way and still stands the test of time even today. This album also marked the introduction of legendary musician Snoop Dogg, however, today’s song comes from Dr. Dre’s sophomore album, 2001. “Forgot About Dre” served as the second single from the album following “Still D.R.E” in 1999. Eminem makes a guest appearance on the song and instantly gives this song a new sense of purpose and liveliness.

“Forgot About Dre” prompts a simple question to the listeners when Dr. Dre ponders if he can ever truly be forgotten. With two classic albums, a history with N.W.A, and being responsible for introducing Eminem and Snoop Dogg to the musical world can Dr. Dre ever be left out of the conversation? Dr. Dre hits hard on this track when he firmly answers this question by flaunting his wealth, lifestyle, and lyrical prowess throughout the song. Eminem comes through for Dr. Dre by detailing some of Dr. Dre’s accomplishments and reiterating that he should never be forgotten about. Additionally, Eminem adds his own twisted lyrics into the track and show that Eminem too should be known and respected. Fast-forward almost 20 years later and Dr. Dre is one of the most iconic rappers of all time especially with his well-known endeavor of “Beats by Dre”. Eminem too is regarded as a legend by many even if his newer work doesn’t stack up against his early albums. Dr. Dre not only reintroduced himself into the rap game with “Forgot About Dre” but he also reminded everyone that he will never be forgotten.

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Detox: The Fabled Album

In the 2000s and 2010s, there was consistent talk about an album called Detox. Detox would have been Dr. Dre’s third album following his prior two classic albums. The name Detox was throughout a plethora of songs and interviews since the 2000s. The album was supposed to be a huge event that would have featured many artists in an attempt to make one of the world’s most hyped albums. But alas, this album never came to be. However, the album has an interesting history spanning at least a decade since it’s announcement. Detox may have never been made, but we can ponder about what could have been and why it never came out.

Dr. Dre was at the top of his game in 1999 when he released his album 2001. This album was a followup to his 1992 classic The Chronic and stood as a testament to the skills and sounds that Dr. Dre could bring to the table as a solo artist. With both albums being a success, it was pertinent for Dr. Dre to campaign for his third album as being a big deal. In doing so rappers such as Eminem, 50 Cent, and Dr. Dre himself would continuously promise that Detox was on its way. While this never happened, we did see some singles from the album. Songs such as I Need A Doctor and Kush were surefire indicators that the album was coming soon, however, those singles never amounted to anything other than being quality releases from Dr. Dre. Supposed work on Detox was also done during a busy time for Dr. Dre due to him producing for major artists and eventual Beats Headphones involvement years later. Seemingly, Dr. Dre wouldn’t have an ample amount of time to produce the album and thus each year the release date was pushed back another year until it was indefinitely delayed.

With the album’s release date nowhere in sight, fans wondered what Dr. ordered. With Detox being postponed, Dr. Dre continued to work in the background doing production and guest features here and there until 2015. After no word of Detox or any other albums, Dr. Dre surprised everyone when he announced Compton was coming out. Compton was released on August 7th, 2015 and serves as Dr. Dre’s true third album. The album was made in conjunction with the N.W.A film Straight Outta Compton. With both film and album being overwhelmingly received well by critics Dr. Dre seemingly proved that 16 years later he still had his touch. Compton is said to be a derivative of the original Detox album thus potentially ending the search for the lost album. With Detox never coming to fruition we were gifted with Compton instead.

16 years of waiting led up to a stellar album in Compton, however, it wasn’t Detox nor was it what Detox could be. Detox had the potential to be one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time with Dr. Dre’s production and his connections. While we never got Detox and probably never will, hip-hop has a legendary tale of the mythical album. I do hope one day we get a taste of what else Detox was supposed to contain but until then we must wait once more. While it may or may not ever come out, Detox will always serve as hip-hop’s greatest fabled album.

Legacy Pt.2

Everyone wants to be remembered after they leave the Earth. Being remembered could range from memories made with family and friends to actual entities that they’ve created in their lifetime. One of these entities that a fair amount of people have created over the years is music. Music can be used in a multitude of ways to leave a mark on the world. If one wants to reach more people with their legacy they need to stand out and have a reason to be remembered in the first place. There are plenty of musicians from the 70’s and 80’s that have never managed to break out of a local scene or be able to produce a hit song. The year is now 2018 and it’s easier to make music now more than ever before. With technology constantly evolving, musicians easily come and go while collecting their paychecks and garnering their fame and fanbase.

One of the greatest and most successful rappers of all time is Eminem. Eminem has decades of experience, talent, and knowledge under his belt as he continues to release music here and there over the years. The rap god himself, however, fell from his throne last year with the release of RevivalRevival wasn’t the worst album in the world, but it certainly wasn’t the best. Although often considered his worst album, it still says a lot when considering  Eminem’s discography is quite impressive and full of classic albums. While Revival didn’t exactly hit the marks, it did allow Eminem to create an album that he seemingly enjoyed making and wanted to see the public’s reaction to his thoughts on the world. The album, however, was not what people wanted to hear and left many feeling disappointed. Less than a year later, Eminem released Kamikaze. This album is Eminem’s response to the listeners and critics that ostensibly chastised Revival in the previous year.

Kamikaze, was the perfect opportunity for Eminem to get his anger and feelings out against those who loathed Revival. With Kamikaze being a sudden and surprising release, Eminem undoubtedly had the public’s attention again. The album itself is admittedly one of his better albums that further explores his opinions while showcasing his technical skill when it comes to rapping and writing. Kamikaze is a good album, however, with Eminem being one of the most controversial humans in existence it was bound to be met with negativity. This negativity commonly stems from comments aimed at his disses towards newer rappers, old friends, and even a questionable insult to Tyler, The Creator. With fans and critics once again blasting Eminem for being his usual controversial self, one must ponder about the impact this has on his legacy. Eminem is now constantly coming under fire whenever he releases an album thus making one wonder if he’s destroying or bettering his legacy with each release.

A legacy can vary depending on the nature of the person who’s leaving it. Someone who caused pain and torment to others in their lifetime will surely be remembered, but they will be remembered as an example of what not to do in life. On the other hand, leaving a positive legacy behind is not an easy task. Now more than ever are people being found guilty of past issues which subsequently leads to their name forever being associated with that act. Eminem is a special case in regards to the mark he will certainly leave on the world. Eminem is different because his influence is constantly changing throughout the years. In the early 2000’s, Eminem was one of the biggest celebrities that appealed to kids, teens, and adults while simultaneously receiving hate from Congress. Compare early 2000’s Eminem to modern day Eminem who now has a divided fan base due to his album releases and political stance, and it’s easy to see why his legacy is in a peculiar position.

While Eminem will obviously be remembered as one of the greatest and most controversial rappers of all time, it is imperative to take a step outside of the box and view Eminem as a whole. With an insanely successful career comes hardships and obstacles, both of which Eminem has surely detailed in his music. Eminem struggled for a long time until he got his chance to shine, and with that opportunity from Dr. Dre, he made the best of it. Eminem learned not to let anyone walk over him, use him, or even disrespect him in his career, which has led to some notable feuds. The story of Marshall Mathers is a culmination of one man attempting to make his opinion heard and fight for what he believes in. Revival may have been a fumble, but Kamikaze once again reaffirms that the rap god will fight to his death to defend what he believes in. Leaving a legacy behind as a man who doesn’t care about what other people think will inevitably be Eminem’s destiny.

Why Opinions Are Needed

The year is 2018, the United States is still confused from one of the most interesting and strangest elections of all time. Violence and hate are once again on the rise; anger flows through almost everyone. Yet, a small light swims through the darkness. The light you are seeing is something or someone who goes against the grain, one who doesn’t pick sides nor do they have a bias towards anyone or anything. But just as it appears, it’s gone and consumed by the darkness. That small beacon of hope is now one with the evergrowing darkness that consumes the world. It’s now unjust and wrong to have a different idea of the world and what goes on in it.

I used to grow up thinking that it was exemplary to voice your opinion and to peacefully find solutions with other opinionators. In 2018, it is hard to find someone who isn’t politically sided or morally sided to a certain cause or belief. This leads to an issue of separation between friends, family, and community. Often enough, those friends, family, and communities form their own opinion on the world and the people in it, and sometimes this opinion varies from others. Speaking your mind and standing out is often considered incorrect as it goes against the ideal worldviews we as humans have curated. This issue is further pressed when individuals are berated for thinking differently. We need to support individuals right to form their own opinions as it’s the only way to hear a different side to a story.

A perfect example of hearing different sides of a story is from the D12 song titled “How Come”. “How Come” is about the group laying out their issues with each other especially with Eminem who at the time was at the peak of his career and overshadowed most if not all of the main members of the group. Each verse features either Eminem, Kon Artis, or Proof spelling out the issues they commonly see with each other and how much their friendship matters more than the money and fame. This adult way of handling opinions and issues allows for all members and parties involved to understand the viewpoints that others witness. In the end, D12 is always there for each other and that’s what “How Come” reinforces. This example of valuing opinions and working together find solutions is exactly what the world needs.

In the world, opinions are an absolute must if humans want to overcome and adapt to solve different issues that are thrown at them as a society. This is necessary in order to make the world a better place, however, the individuals and groups who attempt to silence these voices are ruining the whole point of self-expression. Living in a world where inaccurate news, scandals, and lying are to be expected leads to a plethora of problems for everyone to experience. I for one think that we need to express ourselves without judgment, no matter how different the expressed views are. Allowing to hear multiple sides to a story allows for a common solution if we as a collective work together instead of against each other. I truly hope in time we can respect other’s views and opinions to create a safer and more unified Earth for the future generations.

Legends

Music in general has it’s fair share of “legends” and “heroes”, however, it seems that these days the most pressure is on rap legends to release music that can top their old releases. That simply isn’t possible.

Recently, Eminem has been at the center of the cross-hairs with his hype and release of RevivalRevival was going to be Eminem’s big comeback and best record since The Marshall Mathers LP 2 which came out in 2013. When Revival came out it was met with harsh criticism and very split opinions. Revival is the music equivalent of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in terms of the division of the fan base. The album was assumed to be great based on his track record and recent freestyle and protest against Donald Trump, however, think about Eminem’s past releases and how “good” they were.

Eminem has constantly dissed his own album Relapse and is known to dislike and seemingly hate that album. The real twist is that most fans really do like Relapse especially big names like Tyler, the Creator. Although Eminem is allowed to dislike his work notably when you take into account his personal life at that point and his issues with drug abuse. Having a commercial and critical failing album is a good enough reason to dislike it, however, when we look at Revival that dislike from critics and fans is multiplied exponentially. Why do the fans expect so much from these musicians specifically when they’ve released non-favorable albums before.

The legendary status given to Eminem is very much earned and the result of years upon years of hard work, but what does that title really mean? Does Eminem have to consistently compete with his old work? Does he have to once again become the Rap God? These questions can be quite taxing on a musician and their fans because these expectations aren’t realistic. To say Eminem must put out an album better than his 2000 album The Marshall Mathers LP is next to impossible.

Revival instead is a complicated yet interesting display of lyrical talent and skill. The lyrics and rhyme patterns that Eminem has been perfecting over the years is quite astonishing considering that most modern day artists never go that far in depth with their rhymes. Revival isn’t supposed to be his best album or comeback, it’s simply an update of where Eminem stands politically, personally, and lyrically. With the album standing at mostly a 50% score it’s easy to see the divided sides argue due to the misleading expectations.

Eminem is a legend in rap, and a master of his own craft. The expectations for him are out of this world due to this legendary status, however, each listener is allowed to form their own opinion on Revival and Eminem as a legendary icon. The only true statement that most agree with, is that Eminem helped make modern rap great. Eminem was a unique anomaly in the 2000’s due to his style and skin. Eminem is a legend in his own right, and deserves to be recognized as someone who is responsible for today’s artists and the future artists. Revival may not be his best work, but it does have immortal lyrics and stories to share to the world.

Eminem earned the title of Rap God and thus needs to push forward and once again display his talent as the Rap God in due time.