Eminem's iconic lyrics have triggered a cease-and-desist letter from music licenser BMI to Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. The rapper's legal team took action after Ramaswamy included Eminem's lyrics in his campaign appearances, specifically rapping along to Lose Yourself during an event at the Iowa State Fair in August.
Both BMI and Eminem's representatives confirmed the issuance of the letter, which was sent to Ramaswamy's campaign lawyer on August 23. The letter expressed strong objections to the use of Eminem's musical compositions in the campaign and warned that any further performances of the artiste's works would be considered a breach of their agreement, leading to the potential application of rights and remedies by BMI.
Videos of Ramaswamy's campaign performance with Eminem's lyrics gained substantial traction on social media, amplifying his visibility prior to his participation in the Republican Party presidential debate on Fox News. Although Ramaswamy lacks prior political experience, he garnered considerable attention as one of the standout candidates from the event.
Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur, has been open about his affinity for rap and his connection to Eminem's underdog narrative. In an interview with The New York Times, he spoke about his time at Harvard and his identification with the rapper's themes of defying low expectations.
While Ramaswamy's campaign is receiving increased media attention, the receipt of the cease-and-desist letter from Eminem's legal team underscores the complex intersection of music, politics and copyright enforcement.
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