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Eminem Says Lost Version of “Stan” Was Way Better

Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Eminem’s “Stan” is far from Shady’s biggest single, but it is definitely one of the rap God’s most beloved tracks among fans. Em’s wordplay and storytelling ability on the song – complete with a twist at the end – are impeccable and damn near perfect. But apparently there is a better version of the classic track that ended up getting recorded over.

Slim recently annotated the song for Genius and explained that a superior versions of the fist verse and climactic third verse were lost forever because his new engineer got high and screwed up the session.

Em explains:
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?’

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

And the rest is hip-hop history.

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