Eminem has taken formal action against Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy for using his music during campaign events.
On August 23, a cease and desist letter was dispatched, just 11 days after Ramaswamy’s lively performance of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” at the Iowa State Fair. This correspondence, acquired by DailyMail.com, indicates that Eminem initiated the move by contacting music licenser BMI and urging the revocation of the campaign’s license to use his music.
Eminem has vocally opposed the use of his music by 2024 Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy. This objection prompted a representative from music licenser BMI to communicate with Ramaswamy’s campaign earlier in the month, delivering the news that Eminem’s music could no longer be utilised.
The incident in question occurred at the Iowa State Fair, where Ramaswamy, following his successful performance at the first GOP debate, entertained the crowd with his rendition of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”. Just days after this performance, the cease and desist letter was issued, conveying that Eminem was not in agreement with the use of his musical compositions in Ramaswamy’s campaign.
The letter, dated August 23, outlines the specifics of Eminem’s objection. It states that Eminem, legally known as Marshall B. Mathers, III, has officially expressed his concerns to BMI, requesting the removal of all his musical works from the campaign’s agreement. This notification takes immediate effect, effectively excluding Eminem’s works from the campaign’s activities.
The correspondence further underscores the significance of this action. Any subsequent use of Eminem’s works by the Vivek 2024 campaign would be considered a substantial breach of the agreement. BMI’s letter emphasises their rights and remedies in response to such breaches.
Ramaswamy’s performance of “Lose Yourself” took place before the issuance of the cease and desist letter. At the Iowa State Fair, Ramaswamy, upon being asked about his favorite walkout song, enthusiastically chose Eminem’s track. This led to a viral campaign trail moment when Ramaswamy began rapping along to the song.
In response to the cease and desist letter, a spokesperson for Ramaswamy’s campaign humorously remarked, “Vivek just got on the stage and cut loose. To the American people’s chagrin, we will have to leave the rapping to the real slim shady”.
Ramaswamy has a history of affinity for Eminem’s music. During his time at Harvard University, he performed libertarian-themed raps under the stage name Da Vek. He has admired Eminem for his underdog story and ability to break barriers, resonating with his own background as the child of Indian immigrant parents. He also made rapping “Lose Yourself” his signature move at coprporate karaoke nights in a company he owns.
As the events unfold, this clash between artistic rights and political campaigning highlights the complexities of music usage and intellectual property. The cease and desist letter marks Eminem’s decisive stance against the use of his music by right wing populist wannabe politicians.