Eminem don’t play about his diamond single “Lose Yourself.” For evidence, look no further than the number of times the rapper has sued people for using the hit track without permission.
Originally released in 2002 on the 8 Mile soundtrack, 8 Mile: Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture, “Lose Yourself” is Em’s biggest song, having been certified 13 times platinum by the RIAA in 2022. With a song that popular, naturally, many people have co-opted the track for their own purposes. Multiple times, this has led to lawsuits issued by the rap god.
Since 2002, Eminem has filed lawsuits against multiple billion-dollar companies for using the record without getting the OK via proper channels, including popular streaming services Apple Music and Spotify.
Twenty-one years after it release, Eminem is still holding people accountable for unlawfully using his smash hit. Most recently, Shady, via BMI, reportedly issued a cease and desist letter to 2024 Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy for using “Lose Yourself” on the campaign trail.
“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 reads.
There seems to be only one exception. In 2020, Eminem licensed the track to Joe Biden, giving the President of the United States permission to use the song in a political ad.
See all the times Eminem has sued companies for using “Lose Yourself” without permission below.
In 2004, Eminem sued Apple Music and MTV for using “Lose Yourself” in a commercial without getting approval from the Detroit rapper, after Eminem reportedly turned down a direct request from Steve Jobs to use the song. The lawsuit was settled out of court.
Eminem sued Apple again in 2007, claiming they failed to authorize the use of 93 of his songs in a downloadable format. The suit claimed Apple gained $2.5 million through iTunes downloads, including $466,915 from “Lose Yourself.” In 2009, the case was settled out of court.
In 2011, Slim Shady sued Audi for copyright infringement after the German automobile maker used a song that sounded strikingly similar to “Lose Yourself” in an ad for the new Audi A6 Avant. The company eventually admitted fault and settled out of court with Shady.
New Zealand National Party (2017)
Eminem took a lawsuit all the way to the Land Down Under in 2017, when he sued the New Zealand National Party for using a facsimile of “Lose Yourself” in a campaign ad. The lawsuit made its way to court. In 2019, the New Zealand High Court ruled in favor of Eminem and awarded $415,000 in damages to his Eight Mile Style publishing company.
In 2019, Eminem’s publishing company sued Spotify for copyright infringement over “Lose Yourself” and other tracks. The suit claimed the popular streaming service did not get the proper licenses to stream Em’s music and alleged Em was owed nearly $500,000 in royalties and $150,000 in damages. The status of the lawsuit is unclear.