In a move that’s not too surprising, considering his well-known distaste for Republican political figures, Eminem has dispatched a cease and desist letter to GOP presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy. The letter, initially made public by The Daily Mail, received an authenticity stamp from Eminem’s team in a statement to Variety. The kerfuffle erupted after Ramaswamy took the liberty of belting out Eminem’s hit “Lose Yourself” at an Iowa State Fair campaign event, asserting that the song’s use had been approved by BMI.
BMI, on the other hand, sent a letter to the Ramaswamy campaign on August 23, essentially saying Eminem wants none of it. “We have been contacted by Marshall Mathers, III, who you might know better as Eminem. He has expressed strong objections to your campaign’s utilization of his musical portfolio (let’s call it the ‘Eminem Works’). As such, he’s asking us to yank his music from your agreement,” the BMI letter clarified. “Any subsequent use of Eminem’s music by the Vivek 2024 campaign will be considered a significant violation of our Agreement, opening up a Pandora’s box of legal actions.”
In a somewhat ironic twist, Ramaswamy spoke to The New York Times on August 19, proclaiming his affinity for Eminem as the quintessential underdog story—a spirit he claims to share. The headline quipped, “Vivek Ramaswamy Loves Eminem. And He Doesn’t Care If the Feeling Isn’t Reciprocal.” (Spoiler alert: The feeling is decidedly unreciprocal.)
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So folks, the lesson here is simple: Just because you “lose yourself” in the music, doesn’t mean you get to actually use it, especially not without Eminem’s explicit say-so. Ah, the nuances of copyright law in the world of politics and hip-hop—a Venn diagram that rarely intersects but, when it does, guarantees high-octane drama.