Bleats

Eminem's Iconic Single, 'Stan', Eerily Foreshadowed How Toxic Fandoms Would Become

Just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan, this is (a) Stan.

The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem is one of the best-selling rap albums ever and easily one of the greatest collections of songs ever put together for a record. But ‘Stan’ sticks out in particular, more so in 2020 than 2000, not because it’s a quality song (it’s still one of Eminem’s signature tracks) but because how it eerily foreshadowed the birth of toxic behaviour among fandoms and fan culture.

Speaking of toxic fandoms, the GOAT team talk about the mixed reception aimed at the return of the ‘Twilight’ saga on ‘It’s Been A big Day For…’ below:

Over course of seven intense minutes, ‘Stan’ depicts the story of Stan, a fan who really loves Eminem and is obsessed with the rapper in ridiculously unhealthy ways, tacking countless photos and press cuttings to his walls and writing seriously creepy letters in hopes that his idol will reply.

Eminem does ultimately reply to Stan, but by then it’s already too late as Stan had already gone way over-the-top in trying to get the rapper’s attention by locking his girlfriend in the boot of his car and driving off a bridge.

At the time of its release, ‘Stan’ was seen as a brutal and scathing (yet utterly brilliant) takedown of unruly fan behaviour and etiquette. Looking back at ‘Stan’ and its music video in 2020, not only has the song stood the test of time, one can’t help but see the eerie parallels between Eminem’s single and how certain fandoms act these days.

Given how Eminem had his own stalker encounters over the years, even as recently as 2020, it’s clear the rapper realised something about the eventual rise toxic fandoms and fan culture way back in 2000.

Eminem somehow articulated it all with unwavering accuracy the sort of unsavoury celebrity worship and overzealous devotion demonstrated by unruly fans that’s become part of the cultural lexicon and something we almost take as normal in 2020 (even though we shouldn’t).

That’s not to say that there hasn’t been toxic behaviour or that every fan is problematic in the years before ‘Stan’. Becoming a ‘stan’ of something invites a sense of community among those who share a common interest. But at the same time, this sort of behaviour can fall on the opposite end of the spectrum and be very bad.

Fans can cross the line and do things that bring harm upon themselves, others, and the artists they ‘stan’, and the senseless devotion expressed by these people sinks into a negative feedback loop that make it impossible for them to see what they’re doing is messed up. Not unlike the sort of stuff Eminem rapped on ‘Stan’ back in 2000 actually.

Like how The Simpsons unintentionally predicted events well ahead of time, it’s almost certain that Eminem never intended for “Stan” to be as big as it did or to become the label used to describe an increasingly worrying subset of fan culture.

It is almost a certainty that ‘stan’ culture would’ve happened regardless if Eminem rapped about the topic on The Marshall Mathers LP. But as it so happens, the real Slim Shady dropped ‘Stan’ at the perfect place and time in to become the culture touchstone for things to come years later.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

'Revenge Of The Sith' Almost Gave Padme The 'Star Wars' Ending She Deserved

This is the one time where a George Lucas post-release tinkering would be good.

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith won’t be ranked alongside Empire Strikes Back anytime soon, but it’s still an entertaining as hell film that has its share of memorable moments despite a pretty dodgy script (even for Star Wars standards). Looking back upon Revenge Of The Sith 15 years since its 2005 release though, one can’t help but still feel a bit ripped off about the Star Wars ending given to Padme, mainly because the original conclusion of her character arc was far more interesting than the one we ultimately got.

Speaking of endings, the GOAT team talk about ‘The Last Dance’ on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

For those who need a refresher on what happened to Padme at the end of Revenge Of The Sith, she gives birth to Luke and Leia but dies shortly after due to a combination of childbirth complications and nursing a broken heart over Anakin becoming Darth Vader.

It’s pretty dumb even after all these years and definitely not the Star Wars ending Padme deserved after all the troubles and bad dialogue she endured throughout the Prequel Trilogy. But as it so happens, George Lucas’ original plan for Padme’s ending in Revenge Of The Sith was far more badarse.

Long-time Star Wars concept artist Iain McCraig revealed (via Digital Spy) that Padme would’ve realised Anakin had fallen to the Dark Side and began to take steps to form the Rebel Alliance.

Apparently the original idea was that once Anakin had left for the lava-covered planet of Mustafar during the third act of Revenge Of The Sith, Padme would round up influential rebels to form an organisation that would ultimately become the Rebel Alliance that we know and love from A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return Of The Jedi.

But equally as significant is how Padme’s original final confrontation with Anakin involved her intending to kill him. Apparently she meets with him on Mustafar and they embrace for a moment, during which she draws a knife meant to kill him.

Despite Anakin not stopping her, Padme ultimately can’t do it because she still loves him. Obi Wan then shows up and the rest of Revenge Of The Sith plays out in the same way we saw in cinemas, meaning Padme still dies from a broken heart or something and Darth Vader still lets loose that lame “noooooo” at the end.

One can’t help but feel a bit gypped at what would’ve been a far more powerful character moment for Padme on Mustafar, especially given the cringy ending George Lucas ultimately settled with.

It’s just a damn shame that Padme was robbed of what would’ve been a far better ending in Revenge Of The Sith, one that’s more in line with the strong character she was built up to be. Instead, George Lucas did his usual thing of tinkering with scenes that don’t need tinkering and, well, the rest is history.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Lana Del Rey Must Be Exhausted After Backtracking From That Tone-Deaf Rant

*grabs popcorn*

Hoo boy. Grab some popcorn because we have a doozy here, folks. So Lana Del Rey kicked off a heap of drama on Instagram by dumping a rant filled with criticism about other popular female artists (all of whom are coincidentally women of colour) while announcing her new album, only to defensively backtrack when the backlash started coming in.

Speaking of drama involving female artists, the GOAT team talk about all the attention Adele has gotten on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

In tone-deaf rant shared on Instagram, Lana Del Rey went on a tirade about the “10 years of bullsh*t reviews” she’s received (which isn’t the first time she’s done it), all the “female writers” and “alt singers” who have accused her glamourising abuse in her lyrics, and how “there has to be a place in feminism” for women who “look and act” like her.

That’s all fine and well, she has every right to share her frustrations in an industry that’s ridiculously flawed and sexist. But Lana Del Rey then undercut her entire message by naming and going after several other female artists, most of whom happen to be women of colour.

“Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had their number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, fu*king, cheating etc – can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money — or whatever I want — without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorizing abuse??????”

Oh and there’s also a new Lana Del Rey album coming, as well as two books of poetry.

No one is saying that Lana Del Rey hasn’t copped her share of backlash, criticism and just crap in general during her time in the music industry. But comparing herself to several other successful artists who are women of colour while complaining about feminism lacking a space for her and positioning herself as a martyr who thinks she’s been treated worse by the media is just ridiculous.

All the female artists named by Lana have copped their share of criticism over the years and seeing Lana conveniently ignore all that just to prop herself up comes off as tone-deaf.

Needless to say that the backlash to Lana Del Rey’s rant has been swift and unrelenting. Perhaps realising she effed up her point, Lana shared a few follow-up replies in the comments section clarifying that she loves all those female artists she named and doubling down on her views that she’s been unfairly treated.

This follow up comment from Lana Del Rey certainly smells of someone who realises she’s going to (rightfully) cop it for her comments and is trying to get ahead of the backlash and criticism by proactively going on the defensive, all while trying to have her “but what about me” cake and eat it too.

She’s got to be exhausted at this point. All that backtracking must be quite a workout.

This could’ve been a powerful message that calls out double standards in music while also supporting other female artists. Instead, all Lana Del Rey did was show that she doesn’t understand that it is possible to express your setbacks without tearing other women down.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Pop-up Channel

Follow Us