AI Rapper FN Meka Dropped From Label After Portraying Racist Stereotypes
AI and Data Science Newsposted by ODSC Team August 24, 2022 ODSC Team
It seems that artificial intelligence isn’t ready to take away musicians’ jobs, well not just yet at least. Capital Music Records has had to cut ties with AI artist FN Meka after signing into the program earlier this month. This comes only days after the AI power rapper released its first single amid a storm of backlash from those accusing it of perpetuating racist stereotypes.
This comes after users on social media began to claim that FN Meka was portraying stereotypes and was equivalent to digital blackface. These complaints only grew as the Instagram and TikTok accounts of the AI rapper pushed out content that users claimed trivialized police brutality and incarceration. In one post, it showed the AI rapper being beaten by a police officer in a jail cell because he wouldn’t “snitch.”
On Tuesday, an activist nonprofit, Industry Blackout, pended an open letter to Captial Records bringing their concerns to light. In part, they said, “It is a direct insult to the Black community and our culture. An amalgamation of gross stereotypes, appropriative mannerisms that derive from Black artists, complete with slurs infused in lyrics,” the statement said. “We find fault in the lack of awareness in how offensive this caricature is.”
With all the backlash, Capitol Records decided to drop the AI rapper immediately. In part, their statement read “We offer our deepest apologies to the Black community for our insensitivity in signing this project without asking enough questions about equity and the creative process behind it. We thank those who have reached out to us with constructive feedback in the past couple of days—your input was invaluable as we came to the decision to end our association with the project.”
“Florida Water,” FN Meka’s first single, was released on August 12th and featured Fortnite gamer Clix and Atlanta rapper Gunna. Now the single has been removed from all streaming platforms as of today.
FN Meka is an artificial intelligence program that uses a real human voice but creates lyrics using its programming. Co-created by Anthony Martini and Brandon Le of the company Factory, could have followed the success of Japan’s own digital popstar Hatsune Miku, created by software developer Sasaki Wataru.
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