Eminem spent his Memorial Day weekend paying homage to some of his well-known songs. The rapper commented on a number of his old lyrics on Genius on Saturday. One of the highlights is a particularly long entry about the third verse of his 2000 hit song “Stan,” the third single from The Marshall Mathers LP.
Em recalls the recording process for the song, which included working with a sound engineer that he hadn’t worked with before. Apparently, this new engineer started smoking marijuana while capturing Eminem’s vocals. In his defense, the engineer did ask Em first before lighting up — “What was I gonna do? Say no?” Eminem writes in his entry.
Unfortunately, that might’ve been the best call. When finishing recording the third verse of “Stan” — in which Eminem desperately raps about drunk driving and kidnapping in the persona of crazed, mentally unstable fan Stan — Em just had to get the last three lines right. He asked the engineer to rewind the track just a bit, but he actually rewound the record to the very beginning of the verse. “Back then we were recording on 2 inch tape, so once you recorded over something it’s gone forever,” Eminem recalled.
Thus, the original version of the verse was lost forever, and according to Eminem, it was “WAY better” than the studio version he put out. Check out the full story below, and check out more of Eminem’s lyrical explanations on his Genius profile.