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Eminem demands Republican Vivek Ramaswamy stop rapping his songs

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Eminem has asked Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to stop using his music during the presidential campaign, according to a letter sent by licenser BMI.

It comes more than a week after the former multi-millionaire biotech executive delivered an impromptu performance of the US rapper’s famous song Lose Yourself at the Iowa State Fair.

In the letter dated August 23, BMI informed Mr Ramaswamy’s campaign at Eminem’s request that it will no longer license his music for use by Mr Ramaswamy’s campaign.

“BMI has received a communication from Marshall B. Mathers, III, professionally known as Eminem, objecting to the Vivek Ramaswamy campaign’s use of Eminem’s musical composition (the “Eminem Works”) and requesting that BMI remove all Eminem Works from the Agreement,” BMI said in the letter.

Mr Ramaswamy’s campaign told CNN it will comply with the request to stop using Eminem’s music.

In a post to X, formerly known as Twitter, the presidential candidate wrote “Will the REAL Slim Shady Please Stand Up?”, making reference to Eminem’s lyrics.

“He didn’t just say what I think he did, did he?” Mr Ramaswamy added.

His campaign spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin said in a statement to US media: “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.”

Mr Ramaswamy, 38, is a businessman with no political experience who has been rising in some opinion polls and has branded his rivals as “bought and paid for.”

The tech entrepreneur was at the centre of many of last week’s first Republican primary debate’s most dramatic moments.

A stoic defender of former US President Donald Trump, he faced much criticism from more experienced rivals, who appeared to view him as more of a threat than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has been trailing Mr Trump as a distant second in the Republican primary polls.

Eminem (Getty Images for The Rock and Ro)
Eminem (Getty Images for The Rock and Ro)

It’s not the first time Eminem’s Lose Yourself has been at the centre of election campaigning controversy.

The rapper won £315,000 from a New Zealand political party in 2017 after it ripped off one of his most famous songs for an election advert in 2014.

The tune, titled Eminem Esque, was only slightly different to the original Lose Yourself, leading the New Zealand High Court to rule it was “sufficiently similar” to count as copyright infringement.

The party’s lawyers said that the song used was not actually Lose Yourself but a song purchased from an online stock music library.

Lose Yourself, the lead single from the soundtrack to Eminem’s 2002 semi-autobiographical film 8 Mile, is one of the rapper’s biggest hits.

The track won the Academy Award for best original song in 2003 and a Grammy for best rap song in 2004.