Out of 640 words added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Eminem‘s everlasting interpretation of the word “stan” is among the litany of terms. On Tuesday (April 23), the company tweeted the news with a gif of Beyonce’s Homecoming documentary that premiered on Netflix (April 17).
Putting Slim Shady’s “Stan” video into literary text, Merriam-Webster defines the title as “an extremely or excessively enthusiastic and devoted fan” or “to exhibit fandom to an extreme or excessive degree: to be an extremely devoted and enthusiastic fan of someone or something.” In 2017, the Oxford English Dictionary also added “stan” to its pages.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) April 23, 2019
In a lyric annotation for Genius, Eminem broke down the latter part of the chorus (“And even if I could it’d all be gray/But your picture on my wall/It reminds me that it’s not so bad, it’s not so bad”), performed by Dido, and shared how those lines set the stage for the rest of the song.
“When I heard ‘your picture on my wall,’ I was like ‘Yo, this could be about somebody who takes me too seriously.’ So I knew what I was going to write about before I wrote it,” he said. “A lot of times when I’m writing songs, I see visions for everything I’m writing. This was one of those.”
Revisit the 2000 video below.