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Song Stories

“Stan”

Eminem | 2000

One of Eminem’s best-known songs and biggest hits, “Stan” details a fan’s descent into dangerous obsession through his letters to his rapper hero. Eminem once explained the title character to Rolling Stone: “He’s crazy for real, and he thnks I’m crazy, but I try to help him at the end of the song. It kinda shows the real side of me.” The song features a prominent sample of Dido’s “Thank You,” which was a concurrent hit. Facing charges of homophobia, Eminem performed “Stan” at the 2001 Grammy Awards with the openly gay Elton John singing the chorus.

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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