Eminem Asks Republican to Stop Rapping his Songs


Eminem Ramaswamy
Ramaswamy rapped an Eminem song recently. Credit: Video screenshot/Twitter/Anarcho Collectivo

Rap star Eminem has asked aspiring Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to stop using his songs.

The letter comes more than a week after the biotech entrepreneur delivered an impromptu performance of Lose Yourself at the Iowa State Fair.

Eminem made the request via the performing rights organization BMI in a letter dated 23 August. The letter says the company “received a communication from” Eminem objecting to the Republican’s use of his “musical compositions”.

“BMI will consider any performance of the Eminem works by the Vivek 2024 campaign from this date forward to be a material breach” of its license, it adds.

Ramaswamy will comply with the request by Eminem

Ramaswamy, who was recently described by New Yorker Magazine as “the C.E.O. of Anti-Woke, Inc.”, is vying to unseat Donald Trump as the presumed 2024 Republican nominee.

A spokeswoman for Ramaswamy said he will comply with the request by Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III.

Referring to an Eminem lyric, campaign spokeswoman Tricia McLaughlin said in a statement to US media: “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 posted on X, formally known as Twitter, to make light of the situation.

“Will The REAL Slim Shady Please Stand Up? He didn’t just say what I think he did, did he?” he wrote, referring to more of Eminem’s lyrics.

Ramaswamy who founded Roivant Sciences, a pharmaceutical company, in February 2023, declared his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination in the 2024 United States presidential election.

Ramaswamy started his campaign claiming that the United States is in the middle of a national identity crisis precipitated by what he called “new secular religions like COVID-ism, climate-ism, and gender ideology”.

He is also a critic of environmental, social, and corporate governance initiatives (ESG). In August 2023, Forbes estimated Ramaswamy’s net worth at more than $950 million; his wealth comes from biotech and financial businesses.

The BBC notes that politicians and musicians have clashed over the use of music for decades.

Bruce Springsteen castigated President Reagan for planning to use Born in the USA for his 1984 election campaign. Fatboy Slim furiously denounced Labour’s use of Right Here, Right Now at their 2004 conference, the year after the Iraq War. And the Rolling Stones fought a long battle to prevent Donald Trump using You Can’t Always Get What You Want as his walk-off music.

Legally, however, US politicians don’t always need direct permission from artists. Their campaigns can buy licensing packages from music rights organizations like BMI and ASCAP, which gives them legal access to more than 20 million songs for political rallies.

However, artists have the right to remove their music from that list. The Rolling Stones have done so, and Eminem has followed suit

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