Who’s Stanley? Who was Stan? Well, for some it was just a name, but for me it’s an identity.
The story of this whole monicker thing relates back to my motivator and my favorite rapper Marshall Mathers. People who aren’t a fan may not get it but the term “Stan” references to someone who was obsessed with him and his music based on Em’s 2000 hit single of the same name. The term was even added to the dictionary just recently having a definition of “an overzealous maniacal fan for any celebrity or athlete”. As of wikipedia.com, “‘Stan’ is a song by American rapper Eminem featuring British singer Dido. It was released on December 9, 2000 as the third single from Eminem’s third album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000). It was number one in eleven countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and Australia.”
Dear Slim, I wrote you, but you still ain’t callin’
I left my cell, my pager and my home phone at the bottom
I sent two letters back in autumn, you must not’ve got ’em
There probably was a problem at the post office or somethin’
Sometimes I scribble addresses too sloppy when I jot ’em
But anyways, fuck it, what’s been up, man? How’s your daughter?
My girlfriend’s pregnant too, I’m ’bout to be a father
If I have a daughter, guess what I’ma call her?
I’ma name her Bonnie
I read about your Uncle Ronnie too, I’m sorry
I had a friend kill himself over some bitch who didn’t want him
I know you probably hear this every day, but I’m your biggest fan
I even got the underground shit that you did with Skam
I got a room full of your posters and your pictures, man
I like the shit you did with Rawkus too, that shit was phat
Anyways, I hope you get this, man, hit me back
Just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan, this is Stan– Verse 1 of Stan (Eminem as Stan)
I’m pretty sure most people have already heard this song atleast once. The track samples the opening lines of “Thank You” – A single by British singer Dido, who also collaborated with the song – and use it as its chorus.
My tea’s gone cold
I’m wondering why I got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
And I can’t see at all
And even if I could it’d all be gray
But your picture on my wall
It reminds me that it’s not so bad, it’s not so bad– Chorus (Sung by Dido in between verses)
The song was quite unique and different from usual as it was like telling a story of a particular person inside it’s lyrics, that person was Stanley Mitchell.
The story resolves about Mr. Mitchell’s quest for the approval of his favorite rapper, Slim Shady (Eminem) and how his obsession with him have affected his and his family’s life..
Stanley regularly send hand written letters to Em telling him how much he adores him for his music and how much he can relate to him with all their similar pains and situations in life hoping at some time he can get back to him and have a simple chat just as what he promised him when they’ve met sometime earlier probably in a meet-and-greet occasion. But due to some unfortunate events, such as his letter unnoticedly fell from the post office cart (as shown in the official music video), it never reached its destination making Stanley mad thinking his idol had ignored him intentionally as stated in the 2nd verse of the song.
Dear Slim, you still ain’t called or wrote, I hope you have a chance
I ain’t mad, I just think it’s fucked up you don’t answer fans
If you didn’t want to talk to me outside the concert
You didn’t have to
But you coulda signed an autograph for Matthew
That’s my little brother, man, he’s only six years old
We waited in the blisterin’ cold
For you, for four hours, and you just said no
That’s pretty shitty, man, you’re like his fuckin’ idol
He wants to be just like you, man, he likes you more than I do
I ain’t that mad though, I just don’t like being lied to
Remember when we met in Denver?
You said if I’d write you, you would write back
See, I’m just like you in a way: I never knew my father neither
He used to always cheat on my mom and beat her
I can relate to what you’re sayin’ in your songs
So when I have a shitty day, I drift away and put ’em on
‘Cause I don’t really got shit else
So that shit helps when I’m depressed
I even got a tattoo of your name across the chest
Sometimes I even cut myself to see how much it bleeds
It’s like adrenaline, the pain is such a sudden rush for me
See, everything you say is real, and I respect you ‘cause you tell it
My girlfriend’s jealous ‘cause I talk about you 24/7
But she don’t know you like I know you, Slim, no one does
She don’t know what it was like for people like us growin’ up
You gotta call me, man
I’ll be the biggest fan you’ll ever lose, sincerely yours, Stan
P.S. We should be together too
– Verse 2 of Stan (Eminem as Stan)
Stan at that time is evidently sick and his obsession didn’t translate to anything good just as expected. His wife who was carrying their first born-to-be child have already noticed significant changes to his husband’s personality and suspiciously looked through his working place. Slim’s pictures, posters and cut out pieces of articles are all around the room and even her image on their photo was replaced with Eminem’s. What she saw surprised her, only to be caught by the drunk Stan himself which triggered their fight that ended up in a horror movie like scenario.
Dear Mr. I’m-Too-Good-to-Call-or-Write-My-Fans
This’ll be the last package I ever send your ass
It’s been six months, and still no word — I don’t deserve it?
I know you got my last two letters
I wrote the addresses on ’em perfect
So this is my cassette I’m sendin’ you, I hope you hear it
I’m in the car right now, I’m doin’ 90 on the freeway
Hey, Slim, I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare me to drive?
You know the song by Phil Collins, “In the Air of the Night”
About that guy who coulda saved that other guy from drownin’
But didn’t, then Phil saw it all, then at a show he found him?
That’s kinda how this is: you coulda rescued me from drownin’
Now it’s too late, I’m on a thousand downers now, I’m drowsy
And all I wanted was a lousy letter or a call
I hope you know I ripped all of your pictures off the wall
I loved you, Slim, we coulda been together — think about it!
You ruined it now, I hope you can’t sleep and you dream about it
And when you dream I hope you can’t sleep
And you scream about it; I hope your conscience eats at you
And you can’t breathe without me
See, Slim— shut up, bitch! I’m tryin’ to talk
Hey, Slim, that’s my girlfriend screamin’ in the trunk
But I didn’t slit her throat, I just tied her up, see, I ain’t like you
‘Cause if she suffocates she’ll suffer more, and then she’ll die too
Well, gotta go, I’m almost at the bridge now
Oh shit, I forgot, how am I supposed to send this shit out?!– Verse 3 of Stan (Eminem as Stan)
The 3rd verse was delivered as Stan finally creates a voice recording of himself driving his car into a lake, with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk. The incident spread through media which Eminem himself had been aware of.
Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner, but I just been busy
You said your girlfriend’s pregnant now, how far along is she?
Look, I’m really flattered you would call your daughter that
And here’s an autograph
For your brother; I wrote it on a Starter cap
I’m sorry I didn’t see you at the show, I musta missed you
Don’t think I did that shit intentionally just to diss you
But what’s this shit you said about you like to cut your wrists too?
I say that shit just clownin’, dawg, come on, how fucked up is you?
You got some issues, Stan, I think you need some counselin’
To help your ass from bouncin’
Off the walls when you get down some
And what’s this shit about us meant to be together?
That type of shit’ll make me not want us to meet each other
I really think you and your girlfriend need each other
Or maybe you just need to treat her better
I hope you get to read this letter
I just hope it reaches you in time
Before you hurt yourself, I think that you’ll be doin’ just fine
If you relax a little, I’m glad I inspire you, but Stan
Why are you so mad? Try to understand
That I do want you as a fan
I just don’t want you to do some crazy shit
I seen this one shit on the news
A couple weeks ago that made me sick
Some dude was drunk and drove his car over a bridge
And had his girlfriend in the trunk
And she was pregnant with his kid
And in the car they found a tape, but they didn’t say who it was to
Come to think about it, his name was… it was you, damn..– Verse 4 of Stan (Eminem as Himself)
The 4th and final verse of the story (song) was finally delivered by Eminem as himself as the first three were him as Stan. In it, He responded to Stan’s message with him, apologizing for not getting back to him quickly due to his busy schedule. He also made remarks of his number one fan’s rage and bad habits stating he has some issues and should consider counselling and treating his girlfriend better as he doesn’t want him to be like the guy he heard from the news which got drunk and drove his car over the bridge with his girlfriend at the trunk. At the end, he realized that the person he was referring to was Stan himself..