Vivek Ramaswamy is continuing to soak up all the media attention he’s been getting by responding to the cease-and-desist letter that Eminem sent to him earlier this week for his unauthorized rapping of the song “Lose Yourself.”
In an interview Tuesday with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, the Republican presidential candidate said he will “respect” the Detroit rapper’s wishes and stop using the 2002 hit.
The “Rap God” artist recently sent a cease and desist to Ramaswamy after the businessman-turned-politician rapped along to “Lose Yourself” at the Iowa State Fair this month. A representative for music licenser BMI confirmed to The Times that the company filed the letter on behalf of Eminem.
In typical politician fashion, the 38-year-old Ohio native used the moment to turn the incident into an ideological clash in Tuesday’s interview.
“I would just say: Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?” he said. “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.
“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.”
Video of Ramaswamy’s spur-of-the-moment performance has garnered millions of views on social media. Reactions in the comments section to the right-wing candidate’s rapping ranged from ultra-supportive to very critical, with most expressing surprise.
But Ramaswamy is no stranger to the rap game. As a Harvard undergrad, , he performed at open-mic nights as rapper “Da Vek.”
“I saw myself, honestly, making it big through American capitalism, and that’s why the Eminem story spoke to me,” Ramaswamy told Politico. “I didn’t grow up in a trailer, but I also didn’t grow up in the same circumstances that most of my peers at Harvard did, either. I aspired to achieve what many of their parents did. It kind of spoke to me, I would say.”
The cease-and-desist letter, which was reviewed by The Times, states, “This letter serves as notice … that 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 compositions…
“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.”