As it turned out, Vivek Ramaswamy only got one shot to lose himself in the music.
Marshall B. Mathers III, better known as the rapper Eminem, has told Mr. Ramaswamy, a Republican presidential candidate, that he is no longer to use Eminem music on the campaign trail, just weeks after Mr. Ramaswamy broke into an impromptu version of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” at the Iowa State Fair.
The licensing arm of Mr. Mathers’s record company, BMI, informed the Ramaswamy campaign in a letter dated Wednesday and reprinted in The Daily Mail on Monday that “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 firm’s licensing rules, “for which BMI reserves all rights and remedies with respect thereto.”
The Ramaswamy campaign didn’t put up a fight. And it wasn’t a regular thing, this Eminem rap-along. At the fair, Mr. Ramaswamy, the 38-year-old political newcomer, had told Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa that his favorite “walk off” song was “Lose Yourself,” and an enterprising sound technician blared it over the fair’s loud speaker. The candidate picked up the mic and joined in.
“Vivek just got on the stage and cut loose,” his campaign spokeswoman, Tricia McLaughlin, said on Monday. “To the American people’s chagrin, we will have to leave the rapping to the real Slim Shady,” another of Mr. Mathers’s nom de plumes.
Though Mr. Ramaswamy has professed his love for Eminem, the breakup was probably inevitable. Mr. Ramaswamy has clung more tightly to Donald J. Trump and his brand of right-wing populism than any other candidate in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, and Eminem is no fan of the former president. In 2017, Eminem famously performed a freestyle protest against Mr. Trump, calling him “a kamikaze that’ll probably cause a nuclear holocaust.”
Jonathan Weisman is a Chicago-based political correspondent, veteran journalist and author of the novel “No. 4 Imperial Lane” and the nonfiction book “(((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump.” His career in journalism stretches back 30 years. More about Jonathan Weisman
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