The fake Slim Shady is sitting down.
GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who has taken to rapping on the campaign trail, appears to be backing down after Grammy-award winning rapper Eminem asked him to stop performing his songs at 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.
In a cease-and-desist letter obtained by NBC News and first reported by The Daily Mail, the performing rights organization BMI told Ramaswamy’s campaign Wednesday 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.
Ramaswamy, 38, responded 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.
BMI did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Ramaswamy grabbed headlines when he rapped 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.
Ramaswamy isn’t the first presidential candidate to get pushback from artists over use of their music. In 2015, Neil Young’s longtime manager said Donald Trump was not authorized to use "Rockin’ in the Free World" in his presidential candidacy announcement. Fifteen years earlier, George W. Bush was asked to stop playing the 1989 hit "I Won’t Back Down" by Tom Petty.