Capitol Records has announced it has severed ties with rapper AI FN Meka after a huge online backlash over his callous performance.
FN Meka is a virtual “rapping robot” powered in part by artificial intelligence, who has more than 10 million followers on TikTok. In an August 12 press release, Capitol announced the signing with the release of the latest single “Florida Water” featuring Gunna and gaming streamer Clix.
“Artist, influencer and Web 3 resident all rolled into one, FN Meka blurs the line between humans and computers. With his exaggerated bending and extravagant sense of style, he has quickly amassed billions of internet impressions since the independent release of his singles “Moonwalkin’, “Speed Demon” and “Internet”, the press release received by told us. Clips of him performing songs using the n-word and an image shared on one of Meka’s accounts of the rapper being brutalized by police had gone viral on social media.
Capital has now removed FN Meka from its roster. “CMG has severed ties with the FN Meka project, effective immediately,” the the label said in a report. “We sincerely apologize to the black community for our insensitivity to sign off on this project without asking enough questions about fairness and the creative process behind it. We thank those who have provided us with constructive feedback over the past two days – your input has been invaluable as we have made the decision to end our association with the project.
WHITE MUSIC EXECS LEFT IN A ROOM, UNATTENDED:
let’s create an artificial rapper that says the n-word and simulates our deepest fetishes and fantasies about darkness and materialism and he’ll never be stopped unless we want him to which is a fun story let’s try this pic.twitter.com/9nDdqXdpbw
— karliehustle.nah (@THEkarliehustle) August 23, 2022
Just hours before the ruling was announced, a nonprofit known as Industry Blackout, which formed in 2020 to raise equity in the music business, had called Capitol for a public apology. They also asked the Universal-backed label to donate all funds Capitol spent on the project to charity and the label’s Black artist budgets.
AI RAPPERS UP NEXT‼️
— RemixdMag (@RemixdMag) August 21, 2022
“We find fault with the lack of awareness of the offensiveness of this cartoon,” Industry Blackout wrote in an open letter posted on social media. “It’s a direct insult to the black community and our culture. An amalgamation of crude stereotyping, appropriative ways that derive from black artists, with insults infused into the lyrics.
Anthony Martini, the co-founder of Factory New who created FN Meka said in 2021 that he was voiced by a human, but his lyrics and song structures were from AI. “It was created using thousands of data points compiled from video games and social media. Currently, a human voice interprets the singing, but we are working on a computer’s ability to create and interpret its own words – and even collaborate with other computers as “co-authors”.