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Drake and Kendrick Lamar Feud Shows Power of 'AI Fan Fiction'

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Over the previous week, the feud between Kendrick Lamar and Drake has entered into a brand new, extra trendy realm than any rap beef earlier than it: AI.

Because the forwards and backwards has escalated, and followers wait to see what every of the hip-hop heavyweights will say subsequent, numerous fan-fabricated diss tracks started circulating on social media utilizing AI voices to imitate the emcees. And whereas some have been clearly not actual — and, fortunately, have been voluntarily labeled AI by their authors — others have been extra convincing, resulting in widespread confusion.

Individuals questioned if Drake’s “Push Ups” was actual (it was), and if Lamar’s supposed reply, “1 Shot 1 Kill” was actual, too (it wasn’t). YouTube is rife with extra AI replications, and a few are amassing huge audiences, together with one referred to as “To Kill A Butterfly,” which has amassed 508,000 views thus far. To make issues much more convoluted, Drake himself took half within the pattern, using AI to duplicate the voices of West Coast legends Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg on his diss “Taylor Made,” launched on X and Instagram on Friday with out their permission, prompting Shakur’s property to ship Drake a cease-and-desist letter.

The phenomenon has illustrated the sizable influence that AI has already had on trendy fandom, as impatient followers use generative AI instruments to fill in gaps within the dialog and picture additional storylines with a kind of uncanny accuracy that was by no means earlier than doable. And for higher or for worse, it has grow to be essentially the most outstanding use-case of generative AI within the music business thus far.

This pattern in AI use has its origins with Ghostwriter, the controversial TikTok person who deepfaked Drake and The Weeknd’s voices on his music “Coronary heart On My Sleeve” one yr in the past, in April 2023. In a canopy story for Billboard, Ghostwriter and his supervisor first in contrast AI voice filters to a type of “fan fiction — a fan-generated style of music,” because the supervisor put it.

Conventional, written fan fiction has been a manner for followers to interact with their favourite media for many years — whether or not that’s franchises like Star Wars, Marvel or Twilight, or the music of stars like Drake and Lamar. In it, followers can increase on particulars that have been by no means totally fleshed out within the unique work and write their very own storylines and endings. AI fan creations impressed by Drake and Lamar’s beef are doing one thing related, letting music followers think about the artist’s subsequent transfer and movie collaborations that haven’t occurred but.

Traditionally, fan fiction is nice for the unique artist from a advertising perspective. It’s one in every of many types of user-generated content material (UGC) on the web at this time that may have interaction superfans additional with the unique venture with out its creator having to elevate a finger.

However with conventional fan fiction, followers might simply inform the place the official canon began and ended, and the writing was usually relegated to superfan scorching spots like Watt Pad, Discord, Reddit or fan zines. This new type of ‘AI fan fiction’ makes this distinction so much much less apparent and spreads it a lot wider. For now, educated ears can nonetheless inform when AI voices are used like this at this time, given the slight glitchiness nonetheless discovered within the audio high quality, however quickly these fashions will probably be so good that discerning AI from actuality will probably be nearly unimaginable.

There may be nonetheless not a great way to confidently work out which songs use AI and which don’t, and to make issues worse, these fan-made songs are extra generally posted to basic social media platforms than written fan-fiction. In a search about this rap beef on X or YouTube, listeners are more likely to run into just a few AI fan tracks alongside the way in which, and lots of lack the experience of a superfan to smell out and differentiate what’s actual and what’s faux.

In a time when followers demand nonstop connection to and content material from their favourite skills, it’s particularly widespread for followers of elusive artists to take issues into their very own arms with AI instruments — together with voices in addition to different generative works like pictures, movies and textual content. Within the absence of a Kendrick response to Drake final week, for instance, “1 Shot 1 Kill” was produced by a 23-year-old fan who goes by Sy The Rapper. In an interview with Complicated, Sy stated he used the software Voicify to think about Lamar on the monitor. (Notably, the RIAA not too long ago reported Voicify to the U.S. authorities’s piracy watch listing).

Followers of famously elusive artist Frank Ocean additionally had enjoyable with generative AI within the final yr, with one fan, @tannerchauct, exhibiting others on X easy methods to create their very own different types of Ocean’s album paintings utilizing DALLE-2, a picture generator. A Cardi B fan, @iYagamiLight, even dreamed up the artistic route for a completely fictional Cardi B venture with AI, incomes them hundreds of retweets in October. The person’s cowl artwork rendered Cardi B in a bedazzled corset and posing in a clawfoot bathtub, peacock feathers fanning out round her. Additionally they created a faux tracklist and launch date.

The draw back of fan-made works has at all times been the identical: they’ve the tendency to infringe on the artist’s copyrights, to make use of an artist’s identify, picture, voice or likeness with out permission, or to typically revenue from the artist’s work with out sharing the spoils. This new age of AI fan fiction and UGC makes all of those pre-existing issues exponentially tougher to police.

The Cardi B fan, for instance, didn’t disclose that their work was AI-generated or fictional, and as a substitute paired their artistic route with the deceptive caption “Cardi B simply introduced her lengthy awaited sophomore album “Mayura” popping out Friday twelfth January 2024!”

In a current music legislation convention at Vanderbilt College, Colin Speeding, basic counsel of the Digital Media Affiliation (DiMA) downplayed the business influence of AI in music to date, saying that, since Ghostwriter, “one of many issues we actually haven’t seen within the [last] yr is an epidemic of ‘fake-Drakes’ climbing the charts. We’re not seeing common examples of this within the business market.”

Speeding is true — that hasn’t occurred but. Even Drake’s personal AI-assisted music shouldn’t be on streaming providers, and thus shouldn’t be eligible for the charts. (and if the lawyer for Tupac’s property has his manner, it would quickly be faraway from the web solely.) However this rap feud has revealed that whereas it hasn’t impacted the charts or the “business market” all that a lot, it has impacted one thing presumably much more essential to an artist at this time: fandoms.

By RemmyTex

Remmytex is a blogger, promoter, entrepreneur and and a businessman. Call or send a Whatsapp message for more information on +2349075664854 or you can email remmytexblog1@gmail.com