Label Drops ‘Racist’ AI Rapper Who Made Music With Fortnite Pro

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FN Meka, the AI ​​rapper about to cut an Xbox Series X cake with a Katana.

Screenshot: FN Meka Tiktok

A week ago, the headlines were abuzz with the news that Capitol Music Group had signed a digital rapper named FN Meka, whose lyrics were generated by artificial intelligence. Now, after much backlash and criticism from all over the internet, Capitol Music Group is reversing that decision, instead canceling the rapper with a lavish apology for offending people in her decision to platform anything. many have criticized it as an example of “digital blackface.

The first signing was announced with the release of a song called “Florida Water”, which featured hip-hop artist Gunna along with, curiously, 17-year-old Fortnite pro Clix. Clix is ​​signed with RG Esports and has reportedly won $162,000 at the Fortnite World Cup. When the single came out, however, there was a lot of confusion about Clix’s actual involvement in the project. After all, when you listen to the song, it never seems to contain Clix’s voice. However, all the promotional material for the songs didn’t just quote Clix – his name appeared before Gunna and FN Meka themselves, the performers.

FN Meka, Gunna, Clix – Florida Water (Official Audio)

The manager of Clix says: Kotaku that Clix “selected” the song, meaning he acquired the rights and released the copyright after Gunna had already knocked on the song. What’s curious here, though, is that Clix’s manager claims that Clix never wanted FN Meka around in the first place.

“Capitol Records said if he wants to release the Gunna song, he should have them put their artist Fn Meka on it,” he said in an email. “It was never what he wanted and he expressed that opinion, but was told by the label that this was the only way forward.”

Capitol Records did not respond to a request for comment. After prominently displaying the song on his social media via pins, Clix appears to have removed it from immediate visibility.

All this comes on the heels of Capitol Records moving away from FN Meka, the New York Times reports. In a statement provided to The Times, the company said the following:

We offer our deepest apologies to the black community for our insensitivity in signing this project without asking enough questions about justice and the creative process behind it. We thank those who have contacted us with constructive feedback in the past few days – your input was invaluable as we came to the decision to end our partnership with the project.

The backlash has to do with concerns about racism and, like the NYT it says, “digital blackface.” The rapper, who has 10.3 million followers on TikTok and was explicitly marketed by the creators as an act “at the intersection of music, technology and game culture,” appears to be Black-coded, though he doesn’t really know. you, is real. But there’s a bigger question about how much artistic control black artists actually have over the overall FN Meka project. The New York Times article states that while FN Meka is indeed voiced by a black man, things like “lyrics, chords, melody, tempo, sounds” were inferred in part by artificial intelligence. At the same time, only one white person is reportedly involved in FN Meka’s act.

Some of the criticism is brushed aside by the music professionals quoted in the article, when they imply that modern musicians are often essentially commercial puppets who do and say what they’re told. So, the thinking seems to imply, maybe it should suffice that there’s a black artist involved, even if they aren’t the real engine behind the AI ​​rapper. But the fact that FN Meka’s output was aimed at gamers, and makes very explicit use of gaming aesthetics certainly complicates things, especially when it comes to Fortnite.

The Battle Royale has come under fire in the past for not properly catching up or compensating for black artists who made the dances which was included in the game as buyable emotes and helped the shooter explode in popularity. Fortnite has since made efforts to rectify thisbut ultimately, it’s just another one of many pop culture phenomena that wouldn’t exist without the invisible contributions of black creators.

Who likes coffee and video games here? Starbucks x PS5 1 of 1 #ps5 #starbucks #gamer

Moreover, FN Meka’s attempt to bridge the gap and make digital rap cool relied heavily on gaming’s willingness to absorb black culture. When FN Meka brags about his wealth, he doesn’t just show off cars and jets that look like they could have come out of a video game. The vehicles are all decorated with custom gaming chairsinstead of the smooth one learn that you would expect from these showpieces. Sound effects FN Meka features in his videos come out games like Metal Gear Solid. FN Meka will take the time to cut into an Xbox Series X revealed to be a pie. FN Meka, whose green glow is reminiscent of Razor products, comes on the scene to promote his new song drive a Fortnite battle bus. FN Meka will fight his enemies with a Halo knockoff energy sword.

And FN Meka has AI ordering him to say the n-word along with videos showing him being beaten by a police officer in jail. These are not unrelated matters. They were calculated, and they worked. FN Meka’s videos have been viewed millions of times.

“Some of the early content, if you take it out of context now, it clearly looks worse or different than it was intended to,” Anthony Martini, a founder of Factory New, the company behind FN Meka, told the New York Times.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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