Eminem has reportedly taken steps to have his music disassociated from an agreement involving BMI after a video of Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy rapping to one of his songs went viral at the Iowa State Fair.
According to the Daily Mail, Eminem directly contacted music licenser BMI and requested the termination of the license allowing the Ramaswamy campaign to use his music. In a cease-and-desist letter obtained by the news outlet, a representative for BMI notified the campaign’s lawyer that they had “received communications from Marshall B. Mathers, III, professionally known as Eminem, objecting to the Vivek Ramaswamy campaign’s use of Eminem’s musical compositions (the ‘Eminem Works’) and requesting that BMI remove all Eminem Works from the Agreement.”
The letter further indicated that the “Eminem Works” would be excluded from the Agreement immediately. It also stated that any performance of Eminem’s works by the Vivek 2024 campaign following this date would be considered a material breach of the Agreement, with BMI reserving all related rights and remedies.
Prior to this, Ramaswamy had performed Eminem’s Oscar-winning track “Lose Yourself” at the Iowa State Fair. This occurred 11 days before the cease-and-desist letter was issued. During the event, Ramaswamy was responding to Iowa’s Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who had asked him to name his favorite walkout song. He had enthusiastically chosen Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” as his preferred track.
As the 2002 rap tune started playing, Ramaswamy took the stage and delivered an impromptu performance, creating a memorable moment during his campaign trail. A spokesperson for Ramaswamy’s campaign responded to the cease and desist letter, humorously noting, “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.”