Eminem fans are intense. They show up everywhere to defend the rapper if even the slightest mention of a top 5 is dropped. I bet you can find someone accidentally discussing the merits of The Marshall Mathers LP on a recipe for curry goat, if you look hard enough.
His fans are so meticulous and obsessive that we use the name of a fictional fan that Em created to describe uber-fans. His song “Stan” gave us the shorthand we needed for fans who take their faves a little too seriously. The “Rap God” probably couldn’t pick a worse song to draw a blank on. And yet, that’s exactly what he did during a recent concert in Glasgow.
The gaffe was caught by a fan in the audience.
“I read about your Uncle Ronnie too, I’m sorry. I had a friend kill himself over some b*tch who didn’t want him,” Em raps before blanking on the next line.
The rapper goes silent for a second, lets out a disgusted sound and then turns around to let his crew know it’s time for a do-over.
“We gotta run that back,” he said, to cheers from the crowd.
The mix-up came in the middle of Eminem’s first-verse as Stan, an obsessive fan who kills himself and his girlfriend after he thinks that the rapper is ignoring his letters.
In case fans (or Em) need a refresher, here’s how the verse is supposed to go:
Dear Slim, I wrote 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-a 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; f*ck 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 b*tch who didn’t want him
I know you probably hear this everyday, but I’m your biggest fan
I even got the underground sh*t that you did with Skam
I got a room full of your posters and your pictures man
I like the sh*t you did with Rawkus too, that sh*t was fat
Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back,
just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan
This is Stan
The song — like everything Em did in his early days — caused a fair bit of controversy. It’s graphic depiction of a suicide and the murder of a pregnant woman earned condemnation from parent’s groups. The video starring Devon Sawa and Dido was also heavily censored. Both lyrical content and some of the video’s shots were removed before being allowed to play on MTV. Included among the cut shots were images of Dido bound and gagged in the trunk of the car that Sawa was driving.
Eminem eventually used the track to put a damper on one of the strongest critiques against him. After many people accused the rapper of being a homophobe, he performed the song with Elton John subbing in for Dido at the 2001 Grammy Awards.
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