Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy took a jab at Eminem while agreeing to abide by the rapper’s cease and desist on Tuesday, shading the “The Real Slim Shady” scribe for no longer being “a guy that actually stood up to the establishment.”
The 2024 presidential candidate closed his interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday by addressing Eminem’s recent demand that he refrain from using or reciting his music while on the campaign trail. The cease and desist came Aug. 23 after Ramaswamy was recorded singing the hit song “Lose Yourself.”
“Look, I’ll respect his wishes. I’ll just say this: Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?” Ramaswamy said, referencing lyrics from the rapper’s hit song.
“Eminem in his rise used to be a guy who actually stood up to the establishment and said the things that the establishment didn’t want him to say,” Ramaswamy continued. “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 he will one day rediscover the renegade that made him great and I’m rooting for that success in his life.”
Eminem, his team and BMI — the licensor of “Lose Yourself” — sent Ramaswamy a cease and desist letter 11 days (on Aug. 23) after Ramaswamy was seen performing the song at the Iowa State Fair. In the letter, Eminem’s crew 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.
While Ramaswamy has expressed his appreciation for Eminem, the musician’s team blocked the businessman from using any of his catalogue.
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.”
The cease and desist marks just the latest objection musicians have taken to 2024 Republican presidential candidates using their songs. “Rich Men North of Richmond” singer Oliver Anthony notably objected to the use of his song at the first Republican presidential debate, saying, “I’m disappointed to see, it’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me like I’m one of them.”
Watch a clip from Ramaswamy’s MSNBC interview in the video above.