Sunday, January 13, 2013

Digging In to After Ashley: Eminem's Song "Stan"

In Act 1 of After Ashley the characters Justin and Julie meet at a bar in Florida while Julie is dancing to Eminem's song "Stan." Justin refers to it as "violent, misogynist rap" and Julie disagrees with the description. While reading the script I thought that the song was a savvy pick by author Gina Gionfriddo. I've embeedded the long form of the music video below so you can watch it if you're not familiar with it. The naughty words have been cut out so there are some weird blank spots on the audio track. 

Since there are so many bleeps you might also want to read the full text of the song here

I thought it was a savvy pick by Gionfriddo, not only because the song is probably the most critically acclaimed hit by Eminem and quite catchy, but because it's a brilliant thematic tie-in to After Ashley. I have to agree with Julie - the song's not about misogyny, but it's about an obsessed fan who becomes increasingly more unstrung when his hero, Eminem, fails to write him back. It's a sharp look at fandom and celebrity obsession. It's Eminem coming to grips with his own celebrity status, and the weirdness that comes along with it, but it's also a condemnation by the artist to his fans. He's saying "hey, sometimes I'm just running my mouth - I'm not to be taken all that seriously. Stop reading into it because sometimes a song is just a song and it's me venting my spleen in rhyme. I'm not someone you should try to emulate, find your own way."

What's your take on the song and/or video?

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