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The name Stan is the tile of a song that was recorded in 1999 by one of America’s best rappers; Eminem. The song features one of British best singers of all time; Dido. Eminem – who real name is Marshal Bruce Mather III – is one of America’s most celebrated record producer, rapper, actor, and song writer. Eminem is ranked among the best selling artists on the globe and this is evident in his sales throughout the 2000’s. He is also one of the most celebrated rappers of all time and this is evident in the different magazines and charts all over the globe. In one of the rankings conducted by Rolling Stone magazine of best artists, Eminem was ranked 82nd out of the 100 greatest artists. He has also been declared as being the king of hip hop in many instances and by different magazines. From his worldwide sales, it is evident to note that the artist is a great influence. Eminem has managed to sell over 100 million copies of his records worldwide. This – quantity of sales – puts him on a high ranking position with regards to the best selling artists on the global platform. The artist is from Detroit in Michigan and was born on the 17th day of October in 1972. The author is associated with different labels most of which originate in the United States. Some of these labels include Interscope Records, Shady Records, Bassmint Productions, FBT Productions, Mashin’ Duck Records, and Web Entertainmen. Some of the close hip hop artists that have worked with Eminem in the past include Dr. Dre, Nate Dogg, Royce da 5’9″, Xzbit, Slaughterhouse, Dido, D12, Prrof, Obie Trice, and Bad meets Evil. This paper will focus on conducting an extensive critique on Stan (Stubbs).
Stan has received numerous awards from numerous international organizations. The song has been nominated for different awards since its release in 1999. Some of these awards include best song, video of the year, the best rap video, best cinematography, best direction, and best international artist. Some of the international entertainment institutions that have seen it fit to accord this song with the various awards and nominations include MTV, MTV Europe, and MuchMusic. There are numerous magazines that have also ranked the song under different categories and awards. In the various instances where entertainment organizations have compiled the best songs done by Eminem, this song has received high ranking positions. For instance, the Complex Magazine compiled a list of some of the 100 greatest songs done by Eminem and Stan was ranked second. In other similar compilations done, the song has received numerous high ranking positions. The song had such a big impact on the entertainment world that it gave rise to slang. Today, the title of the song – Stan – is used in referring to a kind of obsession. Over the internet and online interactions, the name Stan is usually associated with the overzealous – and sometimes maniacal – obsession attached to a personality or celebrity (Hasted).
The entire song is based on a fictional character that is presented as Stanley but mostly referred to as Stan. The character claims – over and over – that he is the biggest Eminem fan. This is presented in the various letters that are written to Eminem by the fan and how he tries to elaborate his exemplary attachment to Eminem’s lifestyle. The letters are written to the artist and every new letter brings out the ever growing obsession of the fan to Eminem. His obsession leads to anger when the Eminem fails to take note of the efforts of Stan. Stan is disappointed by the fact that Eminem does not seem to take note of the different efforts he makes in trying to establish communication with the artist. Each unanswered letter leads to progression of the fan’s anger and he gives up on writing more letters to the artist. The progression of his anger leads him to attempt a new mode of communication. According to the fan, this new communication is designed to be so intense that it will not only capture the attention of the artist, but also prompt the artist to respond to the communication. Stan creates a voice recording which he sends to the artist in a bid to get his attention. The recording is suicidal and Stan hopes to get the attention of the artist through providing a recording of his last activities (Stubbs).
In the recording by Stan, he provides the artist with the events surrounding the attempt to not only end his own life, but also that of his pregnant girlfriend. Stan records himself in his car as he is speeding down on the highway headed for a bridge. In the recording, he starts off by telling the artist that he is sending him the recording with the hope that he will get to hear it and understand his anger. He tells Eminem of how he is doing 90 – which is quite a high speed – on the freeway but does not reveal his true intentions as of yet. After this, he goes on to scream to someone in the car. Stan screams at the other person to stop talking and from the manner he – Stan – expresses himself, it is evident to note that the other person is female. He goes on to introduce the person as his girlfriend. Throughout this time, there is a lot of screaming and screeching that is taking place within the recording. Stan informs Eminem that he has to get off the phone because he is almost at the bridge. It is here that his – Stan’s – intentions are made clear with regards to the purpose of the recording. He presents his intention as being suicidal but stops to think about how he was supposed to send the recording to Eminem. Before he can contemplate on how he is to send the recording after he has driven the car into the river, the sound of tires screeching is heard then followed by a loud splash (Eminem).
In the structure of the song, Stan initiates communication with Eminem and this is brought out in the first three verses. Here, Eminem is singing as Stan and most of the events present the activities surrounding the suicide by Stan. The fourth verse is delivered by Eminem and he presents information about how he attempted to initiate communication with Stan. He however realizes that he is late and the news about Stan’s death has already featured on the news. In one of the interviews conducted on Eminem by his radio station, there was additional information about the song that does not feature in most analyses. In the interview, Eminem stated that there was a verse in the original writing that did not feature in the song. The verse that was exempted was about the events that followed Stan’s survival of the suicide attempt. After the failed suicide attempt, Stan attempted to get back at Eminem and kill him. In the omitted verse Eminem ends up in hospital after defending himself but Stan does not give up. Stan goes on to attempt finishing what he had started at the hospital but ends up dead after Eminem kills him. The song was inspired by the demise of one of the closest members of the Eminem’s family. His uncle – Ronnie – is the inspirational force behind the writing and recording of the song. In 1991, Ronnie killed himself and this had a great impact on the life of Eminem as brought out in this song (Stubbs).
The first verse of the song presents Stan in his bid to capture Eminem’s attention. He talks about how he – Stan – is for the third time writing to Eminem, with the hope that he will be in a position of communicating back to him. Throughout the course of the first verse, there is the sound of rain and thunder in the background. The sound of a pencil scratching on the surface of a paper as a person writes a letter is also one of the important sounds in the first verse. This depicts the unending efforts by Stan in trying to capture the attention of Eminem. His level of devotion to Eminem and his work is also brought out in the first verse. Here, Stan informs Eminem about how he has build up a whole room filled with the pictures and posters of Eminem. He also informs him about the two letters he has drafted and sent in the past. He goes on to state that Eminem might have – most probably – failed to receive the letters. Stan’s obsession of Eminem is also brought out through presenting details about his girlfriend. Stan informs Eminem about his girlfriend being pregnant and how he plans on naming the child Bonnie. The name is derived from one of Eminem’s songs in the Slim Shady Album. Stan goes on to express his commitment to Eminem when he passes his condolences about the dealt of one of Eminem’s family members (Stubbs)
The second verse is the genesis of Stan’s frustration and this is brought out in the manner through which he expresses himself. He goes on to tell Eminem about how his lack of response is an issue of grave concern to him. He talks about how rude it is for Eminem not to respond to his fans. As Stan’s frustration increases, the background becomes louder and increasingly unsettled. In the course of the third verse, Stan presents information to Eminem about how he is going to kill himself and his girlfriend who is pregnant who he has tied up in the trunk. In presenting information about his girlfriend, Stan references one of the songs of Eminem named Kim in which Eminem killed his girlfriend by slitting his throat after realizing that she was cheating on her. Before he contemplates about how he can have the tape recording delivered to Eminem, Stan crushes into the river. The fourth verse is all about Eminem’s expression of the entire situation and how things have turned out (Hasted).
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