Rapper Eminem personally demanded that Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy stop using his music at campaign events.
Ramaswamy made headlines earlier this month when he rapped one of Eminem’s legendary hit songs, “Lose Yourself,” during an impromptu performance at the Iowa State Fair.
Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images
That was the first — and now last — time that Ramaswamy could legally perform Eminem’s songs on the campaign trail.
Last week, music licensing firm Broadcast Music Inc. informed Ramaswamy’s campaign that Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, requested his music be removed from the library to which Ramaswamy’s campaign had purchased rights.
“This letter serves as notice to you … that BMI has received a communication from Marshall B. Mathers, III, professionally known as Eminem, objecting to the Vivek Ramaswamy campaign’s use of Eminem’s musical compositions,” the letter states. “BMI will consider any performance of the Eminem Works by the Vivek 2024 campaign from this date forward to be a material breach of the Agreement for which BMI reserves all rights and remedies with respect thereto.”
Eminem’s decision is not unusual. More than two dozen artists, for example, demanded Donald Trump stop playing their music at his campaign events and political rallies.
But Eminem’s decision drew criticism because, in the eyes of critics, his demand contradicts the attitude that his early work, like “Lose Yourself,” promotes.
- “[C]razy how Eminem wrote Mosh and is now tripping out that the anti-war guy is singing his song. Politics is a weird thing,” one person said.
- “[S]ince when did eminem become the karen he use to rap about,” one person criticized.
- “You have to understand how hilarious it is watching Eminem turn into a middle aged Wokescold when you are old enough to remember the early days when your parents were losing their minds about his music lol,” one person reacted.
- “Eminem has gone from rapping about murdering his wife, to crying about a republican rapping his song on the campaign trail.
The real slim shady stood up and sold out,” another person criticized.
- “Eminem has turned into such a dork that he makes Vivek look cool,” one person said.
- “Eminem, for whatever reason, went from being an edgy, anti-establishment lefty to a safe, trendy one. He is acting in a spiteful, passive-aggressive fashion — using lawyers to vocalize a political disagreement — much as other trendy lefties do,” another person criticized.
- “There are thousands of covers of Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ on YouTube.
Many have tens of millions of views.
Yet Eminem hasn’t hit any of these folks with copyright strikes.
Why is he targeting a dorky Republican presidential candidate? What is it about Vivek that’s *so* offensive?” one person noted.
Ramaswamy’s campaign responded to the letter by citing Eminem lyrics.
“Vivek just got on the stage and cut loose,” said campaign spokeswoman Tricia McLaughlin. “To the American people’s chagrin, we will have to leave the rapping to the real Slim Shady.”
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