Rapper Eminem sent Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy a cease-and-desist over the politician’s use of his hit song “Lose Yourself,” TheWrap has learned, following Ramswamy rapping the song during a mid-August appearance at the Iowa State Fair..
On Monday, BMI — the licensor of the award-winning track — sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ramaswamy, new politician and founder of pharmaceutical company Roivant Sciences. The music company demanded that Ramaswamy stop using the song’s lyrics during his campaign tour.
The letter notes that Eminem himself specifically objected to Ramaswamy’s use of the song.
“This letter serves as notice to you pursuant to the BMI Music License for Political Entities or Organziations enterered into by Broadcast Music, Inc. (‘BMI’) and Vivek 2024 on May 24, 2023 (the ‘Agreement’) that BMI has received communication 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 statement read.
The message was sent to Ramaswamy’s team on Aug. 23.
It continued: “BMI will consider any performance of 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 lawyers ask GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to halt using "Lose Yourself" during campaign events, citing potential breach of agreement. Intellectual property rights apply even in political settings. 🎤 #CopyrightMatters #RespectArtists pic.twitter.com/NHZH1CG1TA— Brian Allen (@allenanalysis) August 28, 2023
The politician performed the song 11 days prior to receiving the letter. At the time, he was singing the song in front of a crowd who came to hear him speak alongside his fellow Republican, the popular Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Ramaswamy expressed his admiration of Eminem during a recent interview with The New York Times, in which he said he believed that he and Eminem were underdogs.
“I did not grow up in the circumstances he did, but the idea of being an underdog, people having low expectations of you, that part speaks to me,” Ramaswamy said.
“Lose Yourself,” which was part of the soundtrack for Eminem’s loose biopic “8 Mile,” won two Grammys for Best Rap Song and Best Male Rap Solo. It was also nominated for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Song Written For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media at the 46th Grammy Awards in 2004.
The news was first reported by Daily Mail.