Sunday, 9 June 2013

Stan

There's something real intriguing about the way Eminem uses names in his song titles: Maxine, Kim, Hailie’s Song. The same applies to 'Stan', which is probably my favourite song of all time. I'm pretty sure I've heard it every day in the last 2/3 years. It’s an incredibly daring song to make at such an early stage of your career; risking backlash from his fans that might have thought Slim doesn't appreciate them, doesn't write back to them. On top of this, creating a character such as Stan could weirdly have inspired others to behave in exactly the same way as him. This song is so artistic, so theatrical and so fucked up. I'm gonna’ write about why this song is so good so load it up, and read ahead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSLZFdqwh7E
Youtube screenshot

Dido's 'Thank You' sample is ideal for the opening and chorus sections of this song. Dido's got that eerie and haunting thing going on with her voice and it's such a memorable passage. The way Stan’s verses build up in anger, pain and cynicism is truly poetic; starting off, we could argue that he’s a pretty normal dude that’s simply a fan of Eminem. I have friends who have Em tattoos (2nd verse), have attempted to contact Eminem and have posters on their wall (including myself!). The only hint of craziness in the first verse is arguably in the “if I have a daughter, guess what I’ma call her? I’ma name her Bonnie” line but even that, isn’t incredibly crazy because I have a cousin who has named their son Messi. So when we hear “truly yours, your biggest fan, this is Stan” then you’re with not much but an insight into Stan’s character. Second verse is where shit gets incredibly real; Stan using his little brother as a guilt trip for not meeting Em: kinda weird. Stan admitting that he cuts himself for an adrenaline rush: very weird. Eminem has cleverly written this second verse knowing that it is up to this point that he will begin writing a response to Stan in the last verse. The suggestion that Stan is gay comes at the end, which is crazy considering the homophobic claims against Em in the past. I don’t think he’s gay though, just obsessive. If it were up to Stan, he would lock himself in a room with Em for the rest of his life and that’s what he means by “I loved you Slim, we could’ve been together” in the incredibly written final verse. Easily the most powerful verse and in my opinion, one of Em’s most amazing verses of all time; the thunder is louder, the rain is stronger and Stan is angrier. I've listened to this final verse so many times and every single time - without fault - I am taken aback. The way he’s put together the verse makes it extremely vivid in your imagination and not many songs have the ability to do that.



I spoke of the song being daring earlier, but the last verse is extremely pivotal in helping to show Eminem’s side of the story; not just for obsessive fans, but to others who think he doesn’t appreciate, the last verse justifies how hard it is living the life of Eminem. The song is unique, the song is scary, the song is poetic, and the song is…everything that could be identified with goodness. You know what? There’s a first verse Stan in each and every one of us and what’s crazy is that there’s probably some second and third-verse Stan’s around as well on some level; especially in this mad, stalker-ish Twitter-era.

I recently performed, what was called a ‘Dramatic Reading of Stan’ at University: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuapUnIA2a0

My theatrical version of Stan

My theatrical version of Stan