Here on “The One Music K.O. Round,” I shall be providing in-depth reviews of music videos to determine whether they’re a “Knockout” (really good), a “Letdown” (disappointing), or anything in between. As I am also an avid sports fan, I shall be using boxing terms to give my verdict on a music video’s overall appeal and impact.
There’s no denying that American rapper Eminem is one of the most celebrated music artists in the world. While it has been years since his prime, his music remains as a mainstay in the playlists of music fans across the globe. Fortunately for everyone, the iconic rapper has announced that he will be releasing a new album later this year! In line with this, I thought it would be best to feature an Eminem music video for this week’s edition of “The One Music K.O. Round,” and there’s probably no better MV choice than that of “Stan.” Without further ado, let’s ring the bell, and find out if the music video will get a K.O.!
Watch the music video of “Stan” in the YouTube video below.
Before I begin my review, I just need to mention quickly that the music video I’m featuring will be the shorter version (there’s a longer version that is about eight minutes long) which is what most of us saw before social media and online streaming became a huge thing. Now let’s get down to it.
Allow me to state the obvious first. The music video of “Stan” is dark, literally and figuratively speaking. I think this characteristic helps the MV a lot considering the message that both the song and the music video wishes to convey. The narrative presents us two perspectives: Stan’s and Eminem’s (two and a half if you include that of Dido’s character, but I’ll include hers with Stan’s). In Stan’s perspective, we are shown his growing frustration over his fandom with Eminem resulting to the rabid fan neglecting his obligations as a husband and a father. In fact, his out of control anger directs him to arrive at a fatal decision involving himself, Dido’s character (she was practically voiceless in the entire narrative as she was overshadowed by Stan’s obsession with Eminem), and their unborn child. This all could’ve been prevented if Eminem was only able to respond to Stan. He did, but as the conclusion of the music video would tell us, it didn’t happen soon enough. Another thing worth mentioning about the music video is that the story took place at a time when snail mails were not yet obsolete. Had social media been available, perhaps Eminem could’ve responded in time. That wasn’t the case though, and I think that breakdown in communication is the very essence of the music video which is an interesting point raised by Eminem through “Stan.”
Since time immemorial, stars and fans have lifted one another through quality music and unconditional love and support, respectively. There are instances, however, when the music artist fails to reach out to his fans (not intentionally in most cases, of course) mainly because of the busy schedule, and rabid fans forgetting that there are more to life than dedicating every bit of their time and effort for their beloved idol. Perhaps in “Stan,” Eminem wishes to remind everyone that we are all pulled together by our shared passion for good music, and sometimes it helps if we don’t take everything too seriously and personal, especially if there are other people depending on us, like our family for example. Music stars are people too – who have weaknesses and limitations – at the end of the day, and as fans, we need to understand our own limits as far as expressing our fandom is concerned. I think “Stan’s” music video couldn’t have been more on point when it comes to this message, and that’s one of the reasons why a lot of people love Eminem because he delivers great music while his songs serve a higher purpose.
There’s a good reason why Eminem is regarded highly both by his peers in music and generations of fans alike. Yes, he’s a living legend in hip-hop music, but he belongs to a generation of rappers that produces socially relevant songs. This was put on display in the music video of “Stan,” and while some may consider the narrative as an extreme case, there’s no denying that there is truth in it. It has been 17 years since “Stan” was released, but the song along with the music video still hold. I’d say that the music video warrants a “K.O.!” verdict.
It may seem that Karlos is out of place in One Music PH because he’s someone who can’t live without sports. Until of course, he realized that he is equally passionate with music as well. He may not admit it just yet, but Karlos loves Davie Bowie very much. Oh, and he runs a barbershop too.