Capitol Music Records has “severed connections” with an artificial-intelligence-powered rapper just days after the release of his debut single, amid widespread criticism that the artist is spreading racial stereotypes.
FN Meka, the world’s first augmented-reality music artist to be signed to a major record label, released his first single “Florida Water” on August 12th. The song featured Atlanta rapper Gunna and Fortnite gamer Clix.
Meka already has over 500,000 monthly Spotify listeners and over 10 million TikTok followers, where his posts give viewers a glimpse into his imaginary world, which includes massive Bugatti planes, Maybach helicopters, and a contraption that transforms ice into water.
However, social media users swiftly expressed their displeasure with how Meka is portrayed, arguing the invention was akin to digital blackface and that his content on Instagram and TikTok trivialised jail and police violence.
According to one Instagram post, the rapper was beaten by a police officer in a detention cell because he “won’t snitch.” “A mash-up of unpleasant stereotypes”
On Tuesday, the activist nonprofit Industry Blackout sent an open letter to Capitol Hill detailing the points raised.
“It is an affront to the Black community and our culture.” The song is “an combination of ugly stereotypes, appropriative behaviours derived from Black musicians, complete with slurs interwoven in lyrics,” according to the statement. “We criticise the lack of awareness in how offensive the caricature is.
Industry Blackout demanded that Capitol terminate relation ns with the musician and donate any money related with the artist to charity or other black artists on the label.
Capitol soon responded, confirming the rapper’s dismissal in a statement released online by New York Times journalist Joe Costarelli.
“Florida Water,” Meka’s debut single, has likewise been taken from all streaming services.
“We sincerely apologise to the Black community for signing this project without first asking adequate questions about equity and the creative process.” “We thank everyone who has provided us with constructive comments over the last few days—your input was vital as we made the decision to cease our involvement with the project.”
Meka is partially backed by artificial intelligence and was cocreated by Anthony Martini and Brandon Le of Factory New. The voice is based on a real human, but the rest is artificial intelligence.