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Eminem asks presidential candidate to stop using his music in campaign

The rapper asked music licenser BMI to keep Vivek Ramaswamy's campaign from using his music.
Posted at 9:29 AM, Aug 29, 2023

Time's up, over, blaow! It looks like Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy only got one shot to use Eminem's songs on the campaign trail.

The Daily Mail first reported Monday that Marshall B. Mathers III, known professionally as Eminem, asked music licenser BMI to keep Ramaswamy's campaign from using his music.

A video of Ramaswamy went viral earlier this month when he performed "Lose Yourself" while campaigning at the Iowa State Fair. Ramaswamy was signing autographs after participating in a "fair-side chat" with Gov. Kim Reynolds when he started rapping along with the award-winning song.

In the letter, BMI alerted Ramaswamy's team that Eminem had "objected to the Vivek Ramaswamy campaign's use of Eminem's musical compositions" and is requesting his catalog be removed from the agreement.

"BMI will consider any performance of (Eminem) by the Vivek 2024 campaign from this date forward to be a material breach of the agreement," Pamela Williams, BMI's vice president of business affairs and licensing, said in the letter.

Ramaswamy responded to the news online, saying, "Will The REAL Slim Shady Please Stand Up? He didn't just say what I think he did, did he?"

The author and entrepreneur told the New York Times after his viral moment that he identified with Eminem.

"I did not grow up in the circumstances he did," said Ramaswamy, whose dad worked at GE and mother is a psychiatrist. "But the idea of being an underdog, people having low expectations of you, that part speaks to me."

It appears Eminem doesn't exactly identify with him, though.

The Detroit native has spoken out against former president Donald Trump, who Ramaswamy called "the best president of the 21st century," several times. He also let President Joe Biden use "Lose Yourself" during his 2020 campaign.

This story was originally published by Taylor Weiter at Scripps News Cincinnati.