Eminem is a Detroit rapper who is known for his hyper-violent and vulgar topics in his songs, but he has still managed to make a name for himself in the world of hip-hop music.
Through his lyrical prowess, Eminem is able to weave graphic tales that other musicians wouldn’t dare tell.
Whether he’s performing as Eminem, Slim Shady, or Marshall Mathers, the rapper stays true to the nature of each of his alter egos.
However, many people have trouble telling fact from fiction when it comes to Eminem’s lyrics.
Is The Song Stan A True Story?
No, the song Stan is not based on a true story.
Stan is actually based on a collection of strange fan mail that Eminem has received over the years.
This song has had a major cultural effect on music from around the world.
Stan tells the story of a fan named Stanley Mitchell who is obsessed with Slim Shady and treats everything that the rapper says as fact, giving the rapper an unwanted godlike status.
Throughout the song, Stan is writing to Eminem about every major event in his life and eagerly waiting for a response.
At the beginning of the song, Stan talks about how depressed he has been and starts writing to Slim Shady because he feels that the rapper is the only person who understands him.
The problem becomes clear as the listener learns that Stan isn’t seeing Slim Shady as a fictional character, but rather the true intention of Eminem.
Throughout the song, Stan talks about the similar life experiences that he’s shared with Eminem and his alter ego.
He talks about Slim Shady as his role model and the celebrity that he adores the most.
In the second verse, Stan becomes frustrated with Eminem when he feels that the rapper isn’t keeping his promises to him as a fan.
Despite the disappointment, Stan continues to talk about his devotion to Slim Shady as he also describes the descent of his mental health.
By the third verse, Stan becomes equal parts livid and more devoted to Slim.
Stan tells Eminem that this is the last package that he’ll ever receive from the fan because he currently committing suicide and the murder of his girlfriend.
The song ends with Eminem finally responding to the first two letters he was sent without knowing what had happened by the third letter.
How Bad Guy Relates To Stan
Eminem didn’t just find success with Stan, but he had changed the way that people described people like Stanley Mitchell from the song.
A “stan” is someone obsessed with a musician or band, normally having a lot of memorabilia and knowing an eerie amount of information about their favorite artist.
With the cultural change that Stan brought, Eminem and his fans knew that the story of Stanley Mitchell was far from over.
Eminem finally gave fans what they wanted when he released his album The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which featured Bad Guy.
Bad Guy follows the story of Stanley Mitchell’s little brother Matthew, who is brought up in the second verse of Stan.
The younger Mitchell brother was once a super fan of Eminem like his older brother, but that strong feeling of love has turned to an equally strong feeling of hatred since the death of his older brother.
Between his own mental health struggles and the grief of losing his brother in such a tragic way, Matthew wants to kill the rapper.
Rather than recognizing the mental illness that is plaguing the Mitchell brothers or dealing with his grief in a reasonable way, Mathew Mitchell chooses to find Eminem’s address in an attempt to murder the rapper.
Bad Guy is filled with eerie callbacks to Stan.
The inspiration for the songs comes from the way that celebrities are blamed for the actions of their young fans when they really had very little to do with the individual’s actions.
The song was meant to highlight how unhealthy obsession is caused by mental illness.
Families should be more aware of the effects of mental illness, rather than blaming their loved ones’ actions on songs.
Denying mental health problems only adds to the stigmatization of getting mental support.
Lil Wayne Releasing His Own Sequel To Stan
Stan was incredibly popular in the hip-hop world and is still beloved by fans of the genre to this day.
The audience that the song hit closest to home with included other celebrities who had experienced similar situations in their own lives.
Although a lot of the public would say that celebrities should be able to handle whatever is thrown at them because they wanted to have the social status, many popular musicians and entertainers are told by fans that their actions dictate whether they choose to live another day or give up and die.
Being responsible for another’s life or death is a heavy burden to carry, especially if multiple people have told you this.
The message of Stan hit especially close to home for fellow rapper Lil Wayne.
Years after working with Eminem on Stan, rapper and music producer Swizz Beats wrote a sequel to the song called Stan 2.
When Swizz Beats presented the song to Eminem, he was quick to reject the song.
Determined that the song would be a hit, Swizz Beats moved on and took the song to Lil Wayne.
Beats wanted to give the whole song to Lil Wayne in exchange for the legend’s lyrical help and a feature on one of Swizz Beats’s songs.
After Lil Wayne made some adjustments, the rapping duo renamed the song, Dear Anne.
While Stan was written from the perspective of the fan, Dear Anne is written from the perspective of an artist who is replying to the letters of his biggest fan.
Through Lil Wayne’s song, you can see an artist who is struggling with temptations and relationship problems.
The artist is grateful for his fan’s devoted support and often feels that it is one of the few constants they can rely on.
Who Plays Stan In The Music Video?
Devon Sawa plays Stanley Mitchell in Eminem’s music video.
Sawa is a Canadian actor who began his career when he was extremely young.
Although Sawa may have had larger roles, his favorite role that he has ever taken as an actor was Stanley Mitchell.
Sawa was amazed by the cast and crew that came together to create the Stan music video, stating that he felt like he was surrounded by greatness.
Although the music video only took them three days to complete, they were the most memorable three days of Sawa’s career.
Dr. Dre directed the music video when Eminem was brand new to the popular music scene.
Everyone was excited about the project, and the enthusiasm for their project ensured that they stayed on their original schedule.
Although Sawa has gone on to work on many of his own projects since appearing in Stan, he’s always excited to talk about his experience with Dr. Dre and Eminem.
He even still remembers to wish his favorite rapper happy birthday on social media.
After taking on the role of Stanley Mitchell, Sawa went on to take major roles in movies such as the 2002 comedy Slackers, in which he starred as Dave Goodman.
In 2019, he played Hunter Dunbar in The Fanatic, which is about a fan who stalks his favorite action hero actor and is intent on destroying the star’s life.
Having starred in one of the most infamous stories of fan obsession, Sawa was the perfect actor for the role.
Devon Sawa’s most recent role has been Logan Wheeler in Chucky, the 2021 television series.
How Accurate Is 8 Mile?
8 Mile is only partially based on real events that have occurred in Eminem’s life but isn’t meant to be an exact depiction of what happened in the rapper’s life.
While 8 Mile is supposed to highlight how difficult it can be growing up in the struggling city of Detroit, plenty of creative liberties were taken to make the story more entertaining for movie audiences.
The title of the movie refers to the name of a real street in Detroit, which is best known for separating the wealthy and mostly white population of Detroit from the poor and mostly black population of Detroit.
Most people who have grown up in Detroit have been told to avoid 8 Mile, due to the high amount of violence that has been known to occur on the street in the past.
While 8 Mile is safer to travel these days, there was a time when people would go far out of their way just to avoid the infamous street.
As featured in Eminem’s movie, there really is a music venue called The Shelter in Detroit.
Similar to the character Jimmy, Eminem shares a strained relationship with his mother, love interest, and younger sibling.
Just Jimmy is meant to mirror Eminem, and the character Future is meant to mirror Eminem’s friend and mentor Proof.
Although many aspects of the film mimic Eminem’s life, a lot of details were added to the film for entertainment purposes.
Unlike Jimmy, Eminem did not work in a factory to make ends meet.
The real-life rapper actually worked at a restaurant in order to help make ends meet while living in his mother’s mobile home.
The movie wasn’t supposed to be about Eminem’s life in particular, rather reflecting what it’s like to have grown up poor in Detroit’s rap scene.
The Real Story Behind Cleanin’ Out My Closet
In 2002, Eminem released his album The Eminem Show, which contained the cut-throat track Cleanin’ Out My Closet.
The song was about the resentment and hatred that Eminem had for his mother because of the way she raised him and his siblings.
Throughout the song, Eminem lists the things that he has never told the public about his past because of the way that it publicly painted his mother.
The memories of neglect and abuse were bubbling in the rapper, and he felt that he had to let them loose lyrically to feel better about the situation.
Cleanin’ Out My Closet goes on to describe the way that Eminem’s mother treated him in his younger years, going so far as to claim that she has Munchausen Syndrome.
Munchausen Syndrome is a mental disorder with which someone acts as if they have a physical or mental ailment, even if they don’t actually have anything wrong with them.
In the 2002 song, Eminem claims that her mental health problem was so serious that she preferred to keep her son sick in order to get attention or sympathy.
He also goes on to recognize the time she tried to justify her actions on the track Dear Marshall, which appeared on an ID-X album.
Although Eminem’s mother really was abusive and neglectful during his and his siblings’ childhood, he would go on to regret the song.
In his 2013 song, Headlights, he apologizes to his mother for Cleanin’ Out My Closet by name and claims that he cringes every time he thinks about what he said on the track.
As he has matured and learned to cope with his own mental problems, Eminem sees that Cleanin’ Out My Closet was the best way to address the issues he has with his mother.
The Difference Between Eminem, Slim Shady, And Marshall Mathers
Although they may have the same face, Slim Shady and Marshal Mathers are completely different.
Slim Shady is a fictional character with a fictional story that is featured in nearly every album that Eminem releases while Marshall Mathers is who Eminem actually is.
Marshall Mathers is the man behind his rap personas.
While Slim Shady would be willing to commit crimes and hurt those who oppose him, the modern Marshall Mathers is a much more compassionate man who wants to help the struggling city he was raised in.
Slim Shady and Eminem may take center stage when it comes to being out in public, the rapper is actually incredibly private about his personal life.
As he has gotten older, the division between Marshall Mathers and Eminem has become more noticeable.
In his younger years, the line between his stage persona and his real-life personality was much blurrier.
Back then, the biggest divide in his alter egos was between his title as Eminem and Slim Shady.
Slim Shady has always been a stark contrast to Marshall Mathers, with Slim Shady acting as an embodiment of the worst part of Eminem’s mind.
Slim Shady was always willing to do things that Eminem never would and allowed the rapper to give his lyrics an even more sinister touch.
During the height of his initial popularity in the early 2000s, critics of his music thought that he actually wanted to do things that he sang about as Slim Shady.
This is where some of the inspiration for his song Stan came from.
In more recent years, most people have come to understand that Eminem and Slim Shady are not an accurate representation of the real Marshall Mathers.
The rapper prefers to keep his true identity and personality private between himself and his loved ones.
Using Music As A Way To Cope
A common theme among Eminem’s discography is the intense struggles that he has had to face.
From living with a drug-addicted mother to living a life surrounded by violence and abuse, Eminem has gone through a multitude of traumatizing experiences.
Eminem has used his time writing lyrics as a way to reflect and openly express the way he has felt in the past.
While some tracks have caused Eminem’s reputation to be permanently damaged, his more recent tracks have seen the rapper begin to take ownership of his actions and reflect on the flaws that he has.
Writing lyrics about his personal struggles is similar to journaling, which is an excellent tool for tracking the state of your mental health and working through problems you may have wanted to ignore in the past.
Hopefully, Eminem will be able to inspire more people to reflect on the state of their mental health and how it can negatively affect all those around the person who is suffering.