Eminem featuring Dido – Stan (UnCut)

“Stan” is the third single from The Marshall Mathers LP, by American rapper Eminem featuring Dido. It peaked at number one in the United Kingdom and Australia. It is also included on Curtain Call: The Hits, performed with Eminem and Dido on track 5 and on track 17 as a live Performance from the 2001 Grammy awards featuring Elton John, which was censored on both the […]

“Stan” is the third single from The Marshall Mathers LP, by American rapper Eminem featuring Dido. It peaked at number one in the United Kingdom and Australia. It is also included on Curtain Call: The Hits, performed with Eminem and Dido on track 5 and on track 17 as a live Performance from the 2001 Grammy awards featuring Elton John, which was censored on both the clean and explicit versions. The song was produced by The 45 King, and uses a slightly modified break from Dido’s “Thank You” as its base sample. The track also samples the opening lines of “Thank You” as its chorus. Coincidentally, both songs were released as singles in late 2000. “Stan” has been called one of Eminem’s best songs and is considered one of his signature songs. Rolling Stone magazine ranked “Stan” at #296 in their list in The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song was also listed at #15 on VH1’s list of the greatest hip hop songs of all-time. The song was nominated for multiple awards like the Best Song at the MTV Europe Music AwardsVideo of the Year, Best Rap Video, Best DirectionBest Cinematography at the MTV Video Music Awards. The only award it won was the Best International Artist Video at the MuchMusic Video Awards.In April 2011, Complex magazine put together a list of the 100 Greatest Eminem songs, ranking “Stan” at #2.


The song tells the story of a fictional person named Stanley “Stan” Mitchell who claims to be Eminem’s biggest fan. In the song, he writes letters to Eminem, each time becoming more obsessed with him, and when there is no reply he becomes progressively more angry. He finally records a voice recording of him driving his car into a lake, with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk, as shown in the lyrics: “So this is the cassette I’m sending you, I hope you hear it. I’m in the car right now doing 90 on the freeway… See Slim, (screaming) shut up bitch I’m trying to talk! Hey Slim, that’s my girlfriend screaming in the trunk… Well gotta go, I’m almost at the bridge now. Oh shit, I forgot, how am I supposed to send this shit out? (Car tires squealing, loud splash.)” The first three verses are delivered by Eminem as Stan while the fourth verse is Eminem attempting to write to Stan, only to realize that he had already heard about Stan’s death on the news. The song has sold over 750,000 copies in the UK. This song is inspired by the death of Eminem’s uncle Ronnie, who took his own life in 1992.


In the first verse, Stan—the fictitious character (played by Devon Sawa in the video)—is writing to Eminem for the third time, hoping his hero will write back. Rain and thunder can be heard in the background throughout, as well as the sound of the pencil scratching onto the letter. He explains the level of his devotion, “I got a room full of your posters and your pictures, man”, and maintains that he sent two letters to Eminem but he “must not have got ’em”. In addition, the song “Old World Disorder” is referenced as the “underground shit that you did with Skam.” Stan also reveals that his girlfriend (played byDido in the video) is pregnant, and that he is going to name his daughter Bonnie, what could be a reference to Eminem’s song “’97 Bonnie and Clyde” from The Slim Shady LP, or the fact that Eminem’s real middle name is Bruce, and empathises about the suicide of a family member – “I read about your Uncle Ronnie too, I’m sorry, I had a friend kill himself over some bitch who didn’t want him”.

In the second verse, Stan is clearly frustrated. He begins somewhat optimistically (“Dear Slim, you still ain’t called or wrote/I hope you have a chance”), but begins to lose his temper by the second line (“I ain’t mad, I just think it’s fucked up you don’t answer fans”). The thunder in the background steadily becomes louder, underscoring Stan’s anger. Loud thunderclaps coincide with Stan’s outbursts of anger. The verse also establishes Stan’s deteriorating wellbeing: “Sometimes I even cut myself to see how much it bleeds/It’s like adrenaline, the pain is such a sudden rush for me”. Stan mentions his little brother, Matthew, who Stan imagines is an even bigger fan of Eminem than Stan himself. Stan is bitter because Eminem had supposedly refused to give Matthew an autograph at a concert, after waiting in the “blistering cold” for four hours. Stan explains why he identifies with Eminem (“I never knew my father neither/He used to always cheat on my mom and beat her”). He ends his letter with “Sincerely yours, Stan/P.S. we should be together too.”

The third verse is Stan recording himself onto an audio cassette in the car as he is about to commit suicide by driving off of a bridge after drinking vodka. His words are slurred, and he is clearly under the influence of depressants, as evidenced by the line, “I’m on a thousand downers now, I’m drowsy.” Stan, enraged, addresses Eminem as “Mr. I’m-Too-Good-to-Call-or-Write-My-Fans”. He explains his predicament: “I’m in the car right now, I’m doing 90 on the freeway/Hey Slim, I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare me to drive?” (quoting “My Name Is” on the previous Eminem album, The Slim Shady LP). This is followed by a reference to a Phil Collins song “In the Air Tonight“, misquoting it as “In the Air of the Night.” Specifically, Stan refers to an urban legend that the song is about Collins seeing a man drowning, while a closer bystander does nothing to save him. Stan vents further, revealing the depths of his anger: “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!” After that, screaming is heard and Stan reveals that his pregnant girlfriend is in the trunk suffocating: “Shut up, bitch, I’m tryin’ to talk! Hey Slim, that’s my girlfriend screaming in the trunk/But I didn’t slit her throat, I just tied her up” (referring to Eminem’s song “Kim,” where Eminem murders his wife after realizing she is cheating and doesn’t love him; at the end of “Kim” he slits her throat and throws her in his trunk). At the end, Stan realizes too late that he will be unable to send the tape to Eminem (“Oh shit, I forgot, how’m I supposed to send this shit out?”). A car crash then follows, as the car breaks through the bridge’s rails and falls into the water below.

The fourth verse is Eminem’s belated reply to Stan. He begins casually “Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy.” He also says he sends a Starter cap with his autograph for Matthew, and reveals something of his serious and sober side with his advice for Stan (although he does not speak in a calming way): “What’s this shit you said about you like to cut your wrists too?/I say that shit just clownin’, dog/C’mon, how fucked up is you?/You got some issues, Stan/I think you need some counseling”; “I really think you and your girlfriend need each other/or maybe you just need to treat her better”. He further explains in his letter that he had seen a similar story on the news which scared him, about a disturbed man who killed himself and his pregnant girlfriend. The song ends with Eminem’s realization of what has happened; Stan was the man on the news (“… 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…”). After this there is one last lighting flash, in which Stan’s face is reflected in the window next to Eminem. In the full version of the song, the last scene is shown as Matthew (Stan’s brother), in the cemetery looking at Stan’s grave. When he takes off the hood on his hoodie, you can see that he has dyed his hair blonde. Just as his brother Stan did in a further attempt to be like Eminem. Which shows that Matthew will take up the obsession with Eminem just like his deceased brother.


The MTV “clean” version of the song and video are extensively and exhaustively censored, with significant portions from the first two verses and most of the third verse removed. In the MTV full version, which is 8:15 long, verse 3 censors Stan mentioning his girlfriend in the trunk (so “Shut up bitch” and “screaming in the trunk” is censored), and about him not slitting her throat, but tied her up, and “If she suffocates, she’ll suffer more, then she’ll die too”, which “slit”, “tied her up”, “suffocates” and “die” is censored.

Dido has stated that she was gagged in the third verse of the video, but this was censored so widely that versions with her gagged are rare. In the uncensored version, Stan is shown drinking at the wheel of the car before showing Dido struggling in the boot of the car. She manages to remove the duct tape from her mouth and screams before struggling for breath. Most versions were censored so that there is only a brief clip of Dido in the boot of the car towards the end of the verse. It also censors when Stan says he “drank a fifth of vodka”, which censors “drank” and “vodka”, and censors when he says he’s on “a thousand downers”, which “downers” is censored, and also censors from showing Stan drinking while driving. Also, at the end of the third verse, “Well, gotta go, I’m almost at the bridge now” is changed to “Well, gotta go, I’m almost at the end of the bridge now”. While in the fourth verse, the line “[And what’s this] shit about us meant to be together” is completely censored. All references to the girlfriend in the trunk are censored out, including the line “And had his girlfriend in his trunk, and she was pregnant with his kid.”

In the MTV short version, which was utilized for radio airplay due to time constraints, the second verse lines that are missing are from “I ain’t that mad though, I just don’t like bein’ lied to” to “I even got a tattoo of your name across the chest”, which the video cuts showing Stan meeting Eminem, talking about how his father cheated and beat his mother and showed him getting a “Slim Shady” tattoo on his chest. The third verse lines that are missing is about Stan saying about drinking while driving and saying about “In the Air Tonight“, which in the video, it skips from showing Stan near-missing a car, and swerving to avoid crashing into it. The lines that are missing are from “Hey Slim, I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare to me to drive?” to “I hope you know I ripped all of your pictures off the wall”. It also removes the chorus after the third verse and goes straight to the fourth verse, which the video cuts Eminem at last receiving the letter from Stan, and the car sinking more into the water.

In the recent Fuse TV “version” of the video, various lines and words are silenced, more so than on the clean version of the LP, half of one of the beginning verses are cut out, and then the song fades out about halfway through the second verse. The LP version of the song is over six minutes long, and, as mentioned, the full version of the video is 8:15, however, when Fuse plays the “video” it is slightly over two minutes.

In Fuse’s original state as a rock and alternative station, the same versions as on MTV were shown. “Stan” was also released on track 17 of Curtain Call: The Hits, which features Elton John. On the clean and explicit versions of Curtain Call: the Hits, the live track censored only the profanity, unlike the clean version of the studio track version of “Stan”.


The song is perhaps Eminem’s most critically acclaimed song and has been called a “cultural milestone” and referred to as “Eminem’s best song” by About.com. Analysing “Stan” in the Guardian newspaper, writer and literary critic Giles Fodencompared Eminem to Robert Browning.

At the 2001 Grammy Awards, when Eminem was facing a lot of criticism from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation over his lyrics; Eminem responded by performing “Stan” with singer Elton John, who is openly gay, singing Dido’s lines. Many of the profanities were substituted, for example, “You’re like his favorite idol” in lieu of “You’re like his fucking idol,” and “stuff” for “shit”. Recordings of this performance were available for download on Eminem’s official website Eminem.com and, later, on his 2005 greatest hits release Curtain Call: The Hits.

Christian rap artist KJ-52 recorded two songs: “Dear Slim” and “Dear Slim, Part II,” attempting to contact Eminem and talk to him about his own faith and help him through his troubles. The lyrics to “Dear Slim” reference the obsessed fan in “Stan.” Various instruments within the song “My Life” by The Game were taken from Stan.

Rapper Canibus released a response track to this song entitled “U Didn’t Care”, in which Canibus, portraying Stan, accused Eminem of not caring about him at all.

As a result of the song, the term “Stan” is often used within various fan communities, not limited to musical, to derisively refer to people seen as overly-obsessed fans of someone or something. In “Ether“, the anti-Jay-Z diss track, Nas calls Jay a “Stan” and claims that Jay idolizes him and later builds his career from Nas’.

“Stan” has been listed by many as one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time. It was ranked #3 on a list of the greatest rap songs in history by Q magazine and came 10th in a similar survey conducted by Top40-Charts.com. Rolling Stones list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time ranked it #290, one of Eminem’s two songs on the list along with “Lose Yourself;” in the updated 2010 list, it was ranked at #296. It ranked #45 on About.com‘s Top 100 Rap Songs.

The song ranked number 15 on VH1‘s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop, and number 2 on their Countdown Millenium Songs. It was also named the 46th Best Song of the decade by Complex magazine, and the 10th Best Song of the decade byRolling Stone magazine. The song also ranked #2 on Complex’s “The 100 Best Eminem Songs.”

In 2009, rapper Swizz Beatz said he submitted an idea for a song for Eminem entitled “Stan 2”. When Eminem turned it down, Swizz took it back and will use it for his album, Haute Living. The song would be entitled “Anne”, feature rapper Lil Wayneand would maintain the theme that Swizz had in mind, but on April 27, 2011, Swizz said that he had given the song to Lil Wayne in exchange for a verse on his new song. “Anne” did not appear on Lil Wayne’s ninth studio album, Tha Carter IV.

Track listing

  • UK CD single
  1. “Stan” (featuring Dido) – 6:45
  2. “Get You Mad” (featuring Sway & King Tech and DJ Revolution) – 4:22
  3. “My Name Is” – 4:32
  4. “Stan” (Video) – 8:08
  • UK Cassette
  1. “Stan” (featuring Dido) – 6:45
  2. “My Name Is” – 4:32
  • German CD single
  1. “Stan” (Radio Edit) – 4:02
  2. “Guilty Conscience” (Radio Version w/Gunshot) (featuring Dr.Dre) – 3:22
  • German Maxi CD single
  1. “Stan” (Radio Edit) – 4:02
  2. “Guilty Conscience” (Radio Version w/Gunshot) (featuring Dr.Dre) – 3:22
  3. “Hazardous Youth” (Acapella Version) – 1:36
  4. “Get You Mad” (featuring Sway & King Tech and DJ Revolution) – 4:22


Peak positions

Chart (2000-01) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart 1
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders) 3
Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia) 2
Danish Singles Chart 1
European Hot 100 1
Finland Singles Chart 1
French SNEP Singles Chart 4
German Singles Chart 1
Greek Singles Chart 1
Irish Singles Chart 1
Italian FIMI Singles Chart 1
Netherlands Singles Chart 3
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 14
Norwegian Singles Chart 3
Romanian Singles Chart 1
Swedish Singles Chart 3
Swiss Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 51
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 36
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs 33

End of year charts

End of year chart (2000/01) Position
Australian Singles Chart 6
Austrian Singles Chart 6
Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart 31
Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart 20
French Singles Chart 29
Swiss Singles Chart 3
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 4

Decade-end charts

(2000–2009) Position
German Singles Chart 79


Country Certification Date Sales certified
Australia 2x Platinum 2001 140,000
Austria Gold December 30, 2001 15,000
Belgium Platinum 2001 40,000
France Platinum 2001 500,000
Germany Platinum June 2001 500,000
Netherlands Gold 2001 20,000
Sweden Platinum 2001 20,000
Switzerland Gold 2001 25,000
UK Platinum June 21, 2002 805,000
Single by Eminem featuring Dido
from the album The Marshall Mathers LP
Released December 9, 2000
Format CD singlecassettedigital download
Recorded 1999–2000
Genre Alternative hip hoprap rock
Length 6:44 (Album Version)
4:38 (Radio Edit)
Label AftermathInterscope
Writer(s) Dido Armstrong, Paul Herman,Marshall Mathers[1]
Producer The 45 King
Certification see below
Eminem singles chronology
The Way I Am
Without Me
Dido singles chronology
Here with Me
Curtain Call: The Hits track listing
My Name Is
Lose Yourself
The Marshall Mathers LP track listing
“Kill You”
“Paul (Skit)”
Music sample

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