Vivek Ramaswamy says he’ll no longer rap at campaign events after receiving a cease-and-desist from Eminem. But ‘Lost Yourself’ will remain the candidate’s favorite song.
The GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy has rapped his way across the campaign trail. But that appears to be coming to a halt following news that Eminem sent the candidate’s campaign a cease-and-desist letter. “To the American people’s chagrin, we will have to leave the rapping to the Real Slim Shady,” Tricia McLaughlin, a spokesperson for the campaign told Digital Music News.
BMI informed Ramaswamy’s campaign last Wednesday that it had received communication from Eminem about the use of his musical compositions by Ramaswamy’s campaign.
“BMI will consider any performance of the 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,” the letter reads, according to the NBC report.
According to music attorneys chatting with DMN, BMI is largely issuing threats based on untested claims. In reality, it’s likely that Ramaswamy is fully within his rights under US Copyright Law to play Eminem’s music at his events and even cover his songs as long as specific legal steps are taken. But perhaps this is one beef Ramaswamy wants to avoid.
Vivek Ramaswamy rapped lyrics from “Lose Yourself” during the Iowa State Fair. An older video posted online from 2006 also went viral with Vivek rapping the song under the stage name, “Da Vek.” Ramaswamy’s use of Eminem’s music isn’t the only time an artist has objected to political use of their song.
Tom Petty famously objected to George W. Bush using his song “I Won’t Back Down” as a campaign message for 2000. Petty sent a cease-and-desist letter complaining that the usage implied Petty’s endorsement of the Bush campaign, which Petty would not give. Both John Mellencamp and Sting also asked Bush not to use their songs without their permission, though Petty was the only one to take legal action.
The McCain campaign’s use of Heart’s “Barracuda” also irked the group and Heart asked them to stop using it. It was chosen as a reference to Palin’s high school nickname, Barracuda. John Mellencamp, Boston, Van Halen, and Jackson Browne all issued similar requests to the McCain campaign.
And of course, Neil Young famously asked the Trump campaign to stop playing his hit, “Rockin’ in the Free World.”