AI Drake and Weeknd Song Yanked From Streaming After UMG Statement newsusface

A song generated by artificial intelligence that reproduced the voices of Drake and The Weeknd was yanked from streaming services on Tuesday after going viral this week, NBC News reports.

The track, produced by a TikTok musician who goes by Ghostwriter977, features a spare piano beat and what sounds like recycled Drake lyrics from his If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late mixtape era.

Titled “heart on my sleeve,” the song was briefly present on Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, Amazon, YouTube, and Tidal before being taken down—though it had already racked up a whopping 629,439 streams on Spotify by then, per the BBC.

Universal Music Group, which publishes music by both Drake and The Weekend via Republic Records, told the BBC: “The training of generative AI using our artists’ music (which represents both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law) as well as the availability of infringing content created with generative AI on DSPs [digital service providers], begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on: the side of artists, fans and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud and denying artists their due compensation.”

Interestingly, news about the fake Drake song comes on the same day an AI-generated Oasis album started making the rounds. U.K.-based indie band Breezer created the project, cleverly titled AIsis, which adds an AI version of Liam Gallagher’s voice to Breezer’s original tracks.

Breezer told The Guardian in an interview, “We just got bored waiting for Oasis to re-form. All we have now is Liam and his brother trying to outdo each other. But that isn’t Oasis. So we got an AI-modelled Liam to step in on some tunes that were originally written for a short-lived but much-loved band called Breezer.”

AI-powered music is nothing new. In 2021, The Daily Beast covered FN Meka, the “first artificial intelligence robot rapper,” which at the time boasted 9 million TikTok followers and a lucrative side hustle selling porta-potty NFTs.

The difference two years has made is that AI technology has evolved to the point where it can eerily replicate megastars like Drake and The Weeknd. And if those kinds of artists can be ripped off so smoothly, record companies can expect to be playing whack-a-mole with increasingly sophisticated AI ripoffs for many more years to come.

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