June 20, 2024
BMI, a performing rights organization, has informed Ramaswamy’s campaign at Eminem’s request that it will no longer license the rapper’s music for use by the campaign.

By Aaron Pellish and Anna-Maja Rappard | CNN

After performing his rendition of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” at the Iowa State Fair, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has been asked by the Real Slim Shady to stand down.

BMI, a performing rights organization, has informed Ramaswamy’s campaign at Eminem’s request that it will no longer license the rapper’s music for use by the campaign. In a letter to the campaign dated August 23, BMI says it “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,” according to a copy of the letter obtained by CNN.

CNN has reached out to Eminem’s representative for comment.

The letter, which was first reported by the Daily Mail, was sent more than a week after Ramaswamy concluded an appearance alongside Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds at the Iowa State Fair with an impromptu karaoke performance of the popular Eminem song, rapping along with the song’s first verse and chorus. Ramaswamy told Reynolds at the event that “Lose Yourself” was his preferred walkout song for a campaign event.

Ramaswamy campaign spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin said the campaign will comply with the request to stop using Eminem’s music.

“Vivek just got on the stage and cut loose,” McLaughlin said, referring to a lyric from the rapper. “To the American people’s chagrin, we will have to leave the rapping to the real slim shady.”

Ramaswamy joked about the letter on social media Monday, responding to a post that praised him for appearing to “look cool” compared with Eminem.

“Will The REAL Slim Shady Please Stand Up? He didn’t just say what I think he did, did he? @Eminem,” he said on X, formerly known as Twitter, referencing another one of the rapper’s songs.

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At 38 years old, Ramaswamy is the youngest presidential candidate in the field and has leaned into his youth to make the argument he can connect to a younger, more diverse group of voters than his Republican rivals.

“I think I am the only candidate who has the capability of delivering a Reagan, 1980-style victory with a multi-ethnic, working-class coalition, particularly of people who are not just older, but people who are younger who we bring into our party,” Ramaswamy told reporters after a campaign event in Indianola, Iowa, last Friday.

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