Vivek Ramaswamy says he’ll stop using Eminem’s music at campaign events: ‘I’ll respect his wishes’ – NBC News

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who recently made headlines for performing Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” onstage at the Iowa State Fair, said he’ll “respect” the rapper’s request to stop performing his songs on the campaign trail.

“I think that I’ll respect his wishes, but I would just say: Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?” Ramaswamy said, referring to the rapper, during an interview on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on Tuesday.

Ramaswamy then explained that Eminem’s anti-establishment messaging appealed to him and wished the rapper well.

“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,” he said. “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.”

The music rights management company BMI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a cease-and-desist letter obtained by NBC News and first reported by The Daily Mail, BMI told Ramaswamy’s campaign last week that it “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,” the letter said.

A spokesperson for Ramaswamy on Monday signaled that the GOP presidential candidate would be standing down on performing Eminem’s music at future campaign events.

“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, said Monday night in a text message.

Ramaswamy, 38, also responded to the request Monday on X: “Will The REAL Slim Shady Please Stand Up? He didn’t just say what I think he did, did he?”

The post refers to one of Eminem’s most popular songs, “The Real Slim Shady,” released in 2000.

A widely-circulated video of Ramaswamy shows him rapping Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” onstage at the Iowa State Fair. An older video, from Ramaswamy’s senior year at Harvard University in 2006 when he rapped the 2002 hit under his stage name “Da Vek,” also went viral.

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