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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

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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