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Capitol Records Drops Offensive AI Rapper FN Meka, Apologizes to Black Community

Less than a month after Capitol Records signed AI rapper FN Meka, the label is pulling the plug on its virtual artist after clips went viral of it using the N-word. One scene on Meka’s Instagram also shows it being brutalized by the police, and the Black community is not supporting this mess.

The label annoucned Meka’s contract on August 12, but on Tuesday Capitol noted that it has “severed ties” with FN Meka and apologized to Black folks for the stereotypical project.

“CMG has severed ties with the FN Meka project, effective immediately,” reads Capitol’s statement, Stereogum reports. “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.”

When Capitol initially announced its unconventional signing of the virtual rapper, Meka was described as an “AI powered robot rapper” and “the world’s first A.R. artist to sign with a major label.”

FN Meka has 10 million followers on Instagram and it recently dropped the single “Florida Water” featuring Gunna and popular gaming streamer Clix. Amid Capitol’s announcement, the song has been removed from streaming services. Meanwhile, Gunna is currently in jail on RICO charges.

TMZ writes: “We’re also told by label sources … some angry staffers blame Capitol’s lack of diversity for the deal getting a greenlight, in the first place. One source claims the label has very few senior-level Black executives running departments.”

FN Meka was created by the “virtual” record label Factory New, using computer-generated lyrics and overly exaggerated African-American tropes.

Anthony Martini, co-founder of Factory New, had this to say last year to Music Business Worldwide about his label: “We’ve developed a proprietary AI technology that analyzes certain popular songs of a specified genre and generates recommendations for the various elements of song construction: lyrical content, chords, melody, tempo, sounds, etc. We then combine these elements to create the song.”

He added, “As of now, a human voice performs the vocals, but we are working towards the ability to have a computer come up with and perform its own words – and even collaborate with other computers as “co-writer.” ”

According to NYT, Martini said he’s the only white guy on the team behind FN Meka and claims the AI rapper is not the “malicious plan of white executives.”

“It’s literally no different from managing a human artist, except that it’s digital,” he added.


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