Rapper Eminem asked Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to stop using his music on the campaign trail, according to the rapper’s music licenser.
In an Aug. 23 letter obtained by the Daily Mail, music licenser Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) told Ramaswamy’s campaign lawyer it was contacted by Eminem “objecting to the Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign use of Eminem’s musical compositions (the ‘Eminem Works’) and requesting that BMI remove all Eminem Works from the Agreement.”
BMI confirmed to The Hill a letter was sent to Ramaswmay’s campaign, and it has since removed all of Eminem’s musical works from the Vivek 2024 campaign license.
Vivek’s campaign and BMI had entered into a music licensing agreement for Eminem’s music on May 24, according to the letter. A representative for BMI said the letter “serves as notice that the Eminem Works are excluded from the Agreement effective immediately,” and any performance of Eminem’s works by Vivek’s campaign will be considered a “material breach of the agreement.”
The cease-and-desist letter comes after Ramaswamy went viral at the Iowa State Fair earlier this month for singing along to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” which he told Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) was his favorite walkout song.
In a statement shared with The Hill, Ramaswamy’s campaign said “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,” the campaign statement said.
In an interview with The New York Times earlier this month, Ramaswamy addressed his love for Eminem and said he used to perform under the stage name “Da Vek the Rapper” while an undergrad at Harvard University.
“I did not grow up in the circumstances he did, but the idea of being an underdog, people having low expectations of you, that part speaks to me,” Ramaswamy, whose parents emigrated from India, told The New York Times.