In Genius Annotation, Eminem Reveals How “Stan” Was Almost Destroyed

The culprit: A really baked sound engineer.

May 28, 2016

A photo posted by Marshall Mathers (@eminem) on

There's no doubt that Eminem's "Stan" will go down in history as one of the best rap songs of all time. After all, it's been 16 years since the track dropped and it's still as visceral and fresh as ever.


Slim Shady himself recognizes that and a year ago he took to lyric annotation website Genius to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the track, including how hearing the "your picture on my wall" line from Dido's "Thank You" inspired the song's obsessive fan theme. Yesterday, the Detroit rapper dropped by the lyrics website again to share a hilarious story about how a super high engineer kind of ruined the third verse of "Stan."

Here's the story:

When we recorded Stan I worked with a couple different engineers but this particular engineer I had never worked with before. While we were recording the third verse of Stan, he started rolling a joint and asked me if I minded if he smoked while we cut. What was I gonna do? Say no? He was already rolling it so I told him “no problem”. Everything was cool and I had gotten all the way to the last 3 lines and I screwed up so all he had to do was punch in my vocals at the end so I could re-do that line and the verse was finished.

Back then we were recording on 2 inch tape, so once you recorded over something it’s gone forever. So I’m in the booth waiting and he backs the tape up all the way to the beginning of the verse and punches me in. I realize he’s in the wrong spot and I can’t hear any of my vocals so I start waving my arms and yelling in the mic to try to get his attention. He doesn’t notice so I run into the control room through a cloud of smoke and yell “Yo, I wanted to keep those vocals” he just looked at me and said “My bad man…you wanna hit this?”

According to Eminem, that first take on the third verse of the song, which starts off with "Dear Mr. I'm-Too-Good-to-Call-or-Write-My-Fans," was even better then what made the final cut.

"The first half of the verse was GONE," Slim concludes. "I re-recorded it but you should have heard the original take. That shit was WAY better…oh well!"

In Genius Annotation, Eminem Reveals How “Stan” Was Almost Destroyed