Marshall Mathews is a famous rapper who goes by the name Eminem.
Marshall grew up in Detroit, in a predominantly black neighborhood. According to Marshall, neighborhood kids beat him up. Marshall claims that his paychecks for working at Little Caesar’s had been stolen by his mother so she could go to bingo. Marshall, a white pasty kid from the ‘hood needed a good cover story. Marshall and “Mike”, his rap partner, formed their first group. Marshall began calling himself Eminem. What happened to Mike? It’s interesting to wonder if Mike ever demanded that Marshall pay him half his earnings since Marshall stole the second “M”. Stealing half of his stage name is a good thing for rap. The pasty-white boy gets more street cred. Marshall never seems to smile. I suppose that’s part of the picture.
Marshall has certainly done well for himself, he is reportedly worth $250 million dollars.
At the Iowa State Fair, politicians and running-for-president businessman Vivek Ramaswamy were making their “vote for me” pitches. Ramaswamy, who is in his 30s, grew up with Marshall Mathers’s rap lyrics. Ramaswamy, who grew up in poverty, has made a fortune, just like Mathers. Ramaswamy, a Mathers fan, rapped some of Mathers’ lyrics from the “8 Mile” film song “Lose Yourself.” Mathers was not pleased. Mathers, a 50-year-old former bad boy and now middle-aged multi-millionaire sent his people to Ramaswamy and told them to “cease and desist”.
STOP RAPPING MY SONGS, YOU REPUBLICANS!
99% of the music industry does this in the run-up to elections. They wait until a Republican plays or uses their song, and then they make it clear that it’s not allowed. Mathers, who has 250 million dollars and is a man for the people, won’t let Ramaswamy rap lyrics to a song that he wrote with two others. Can he do this? You can do anything with a high-priced lawyer.
My “legal” response is: Perhaps? It’s not as clear-cut as when a politician is playing background music on a stage without a license. The “people” of that politician would have done well to secure the rights via a shell (perhaps one of Biden’s shells). The song can then be played. This has happened, much to the dismay of the songwriter. This scenario did not occur in Iowa. Can Mr. Mathers prevent Ramaswamy from rapping an impromptu verse from a song if he grabs a microphone ad-hoc? I don’t believe so.
Ramaswamy wasn’t at any political rally, he was at the State Fair. According to what I’ve heard, he only “rapped” a part of a tune, and did it (apparently), on the spur of the minute. Mathers’ “peeps”, or Mathers’ friends, sent the cease-and-desist letter to Ramaswamy ordering him to stop. Ok. I’d say. I will not rap your song at any other Iowa State Fairs. If I were Ramaswamy’s underpaid attorney, I would probably tell him to reply with something like:
Dear Mr. Mathers and the two other guys who wrote your bad boy lyrics, BMI, (that distributes this song), and all of the other Scoldy People hired by Marshall:
Thank you for the publicity. I did rap a part of the song that Marshall wrote. It wasn’t a planned performance, nor was it a heist attempt like Marshall’s mom used to do for her bingo games. I was having a good time at the State Fair. I’m still a big fan of Marshall, and his co-writers credited or uncredited. I know Marshall has sued several organizations for the unauthorized use of this song. Marshall allowed the song to be used for Joe Biden’s campaign, I understand. Joe Biden may claim to have been raised in an oil-saturated neighborhood by Puerto Ricans and sometimes blacks, but I started from scratch. I’m going to ask my “peeps”, who are my friends, to write some rap verses for my next “real” campaign event. I wrote some lyrics. Below is the first stanza. I’m rapping about your friend, Joe Biden. What do you think of my rapping brother?
Again, thanks for the free pub and the shoutout! Yo! I still like your songs.
Yours in rap,
Joe’s hands are shakey his legs are weak, his arms like spaghetti,
You know what I’m sayin’, peeps
Naps over, Big Guy! Time for some big lies
There’s Adderall on your dresser, Jill gonna dress ya, drugs for the presser
Joe’s presser, it’s a mess, like word salad dressing, mind like cheddar cheese
Joe’s confused again, looking for Jill, he needs his pills, easter bunny rabbit says Chill… joe
Joe’s out to lunch, acting punch…drunk
No question from the Newsies they might ask a doozy, Joe’s acting boozy
Joe needs a nap he doesn’t know where he’s at, snap snap in his trap. Over here, Joe!
Now Joe’s on vacation he’s favorite location, where is his medication
Yo who is runnin’ the nation? You know what I’m sayin’?
It ain’t the empty suit in DC.
What do you think, Yo? Is [someone] a rap artist with a bright future, or should they stick to cartoons?