In a nutshell, Eminem took inspiration from his real-life experience of becoming a star to write Stan. One thing is for sure; Eminem did not write Stan because he wanted to make something that would eventually become a meme, a new slang term, or even a new word accepted into the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Those all came later, but it was not his intention, just a happy accident.
Is Stan a real person?
The name Stan just happened to be a good fit for Eminem’s masterful rhymes, but it’s not a representation of just one real-life person. Rather, the song character Stan is the embodiment of all the fans and new attention that Eminem was getting. Eminem wrote lyrics that depicted his own struggles, thoughts, and life in general, which quickly resonated with many people from his audience. Good ol’ relatable Slim Shady. This then sparked droves of fans to start writing fan mail, each one expecting a heart-felt reply from Em. You can imagine that wasn’t feasible with all the commotion of his rise to fame. I can understand it, too, I mean I don’t even reply to one text for days and my life is not that hectic.
The basic take-away from this is that musical artists are people too, so we can’t expect too much of them. They also need to eat, sleep, take care of hygiene, and go to the bathroom, not necessarily in that order. And they, just like the rest of us, also have a mere 24 hours in the day to get everything done. So, Stan was also a cautionary tale warning fans not to get too caught up in expecting too much of the people they idolize. Though Eminem has repeatedly expressed how much love he has for his fans, he simply can’t be available to each fan at their convenience.
Today’s Meaning of the Term Stan
The term Stan has grown to become not just a meme representing overly enthusiastic fans, it is also a noun and a verb with its own entry in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as of 2017. The verb refers to exhibiting extreme, over-the-top fandom for something, whereas the noun is defined as being a nearly obsessive, devoted, loyal and enthusiastic fan.