Ramaswamy Has Words for Eminem

Presidential candidate responds after rapper's cease-and-desist letter
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2023 12:00 AM CDT
Updated Aug 30, 2023 12:30 AM CDT
Eminem to Ramaswamy: Stop Using My Songs
Eminem perform at the MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on Aug. 28, 2022, in Newark, NJ.   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
UPDATE Aug 30, 2023 12:30 AM CDT

Vivek Ramaswamy discussed Eminem's cease-and-desist letter in an interview on MSNBC on Tuesday, first joking, "Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?" (and laughing at his own joke, per the Daily Beast) before getting a bit more serious. "Eminem, in his rise, used to be a guy who actually stood up to the establishment and said the things the establishment didn't want him to say," the Republican presidential candidate said. "I think the fact that my political viewpoints may differ from his—I think people change over the course of their lives. But I have hope for him that one day he will rediscover the renegade that made him great."

Aug 29, 2023 12:00 AM CDT

After Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy went viral for rapping along to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" at the Iowa State Fair, the rapper is aiming to see to it that doesn't happen again. Music licenser BMI sent a cease-and-desist letter to the 2024 candidate's campaign that was obtained by NBC News and other outlets. The music rights organization said that it had "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." BMI revoked the campaign's rights to use the music at appearances, ABC News reports. In a statement responding to the news Monday, Ramaswamy's campaign said, "To the American people's chagrin, we will have to leave the rapping to the real slim shady."

As the Hill reports, Ramaswamy recently discussed his love for Eminem's music with the New York Times, and said that while he was attending Harvard, he performed under the stage name "Da Vek the Rapper." "I did not grow up in the circumstances [Eminem] did, but the idea of being an underdog, people having low expectations of you, that part speaks to me," he said in that interview. (Fox News doesn't seem so sure about that whole underdog thing, running a recent article Ramaswamy's "prep school upbringing.") Ramaswamy also told ABC News recently, "I would probably be the presidential candidate in US history that would do a best now or future karaoke [version] of Eminem's 'Lose Yourself.' I'll commit to that." In response to Eminem's cease-and-desist, Ramaswamy went ahead and tweeted the lyrics to another of the rapper's hits. (More Eminem stories.)

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