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"Stan" has been a part of hip-hop lexicon ever since Eminem's iconic single from The Marshall Mathers LP, and it appears that the Oxford English Dictionary has caught up.
The Oxford Dictionary now defines stan as a noun that means, "an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity." When used in a sample sentence, it slyly refers to Eminem's more recent single from a few years ago: "he has millions of stans who are obsessed with him and call him a rap god."
The second definition, of course, is the verb form: "be an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity." The sample sentence mentions a pop star who Eminem may have taken a shot at years ago: "‘y'all know I stan for Katy Perry, so I was excited to see the artwork for her upcoming album."
While the Internet just caught up this week, Ambrosia For Heads' Amanda Mester reported and confirmed that the word wasn't just recently added: it was already in the dictionary.
It's not a new addition - but yes, it's in there! https://t.co/jCpsS4J7Rs— Oxford Dictionaries (@OxfordWords) June 1, 2017
"Stan" is arguably the most important song from Eminem's career. The third single from his Diamond-certified The Marshall Mathers LP (2000), it tells the story of an Eminem fanatic who kills himself and his pregnant girlfriend after writing letters to the rapper that went unresponded. The song's potency was increased after the harrowing music video, which starred actor Devon Sawa (Final Destination, Little Giants).
But almost immediately after the song's release, it became a term used to describe a fan who doesn't think rationally, and who defends their favorite artists at all costs. It was a ubiquitous term in online message boards, and even Nas used it in his legendary Jay Z diss "Ether." The term is one of the most recognizable word in hip-hop, so it's smart that the Oxford English Dictionary recognizes it.
Eminem has remained in the news this week, as May 26 marked the 15-year anniversary of his studio album The Eminem Show. Em released a limited edition "anniversary capsule" of merch that includes a poster, a t-shirt, and a cassette reissue of the album. Em said this week in an Instagram post that the album was inspired by the Jim Carrey film The Truman Show, in which Carrey portrays a man who is living his life as the protagonist of a TV show without his knowledge.