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Label names ‘racist’ AI rapper who made music using Fortnite Pro

FN Meka, the AI-powered rapper, is about to cut the Xbox Series X cake with the Katana.

Screenshot: FN Meka Tiktok

A week ago, headlines were full of the news that Capitol Music Group had signed a digital rapper called FN Meka, whose lyrics were created by artificial intelligence. Now, after a backlash and criticism from across the internet, Capitol Music Group is reversing that decision, instead dropping the rapper with copious apologies for offending people in his decision to create a platform that many have criticized as an example of “digital blackface.”

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All of this follows Capitol Records distancing itself from FN Meka, reports the New York Times. In a statement provided at the time, which was also sent to Kotaku following the release, the company stated the following:

We sincerely apologize to the black community for our insensitivity to this project without asking enough questions about the fairness and creative process behind it. We thank those who have provided us with constructive feedback over the past two days – your input was invaluable when we made the decision to end our partnership with the project.

The reaction stems from concerns about racism and, as the NYT puts it, “digital blackface”. The rapper, who has 10.3 million followers on TikTok and has been explicitly touted by his creators as an act “at the intersection of music, technology and gaming culture”, appears to be coded in black, although he is, you know, not real. But there is a more important issue about the artistic control of black artists over the entire FN Meka project. The New York Times article states that while FN Meka is indeed voiced by a black male, elements such as “lyrical content, chords, melody, tempo, sounds” were partly generated by artificial intelligence. At the same time, only one white man allegedly was involved in the act of F.N. Meck.

Some of the criticisms are brushed aside by the professional musicians cited in the article when it is implied that contemporary musicians are often essentially commercial puppets who do and say what they are told. So the thought seems to imply that perhaps it should be enough that a black artist is involved, even if he is not the real driving force behind the rapper’s AI. But the fact that FN Meka’s products were aimed at gamers and very explicitly use a gaming aesthetic certainly complicates things, especially when it comes to Fortnite.

The battle royale has been criticized in the past for not being loop or appropriately compensate black artists who created the dances which were included in the game as purchasable emotes and helped shooters become popular. Fortnite has since made efforts to fix itbut ultimately, it’s just another pop culture phenomenon in a long line of phenomena that wouldn’t exist without the invisible contributions of black creators.

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Also, FN Meka’s attempt to bridge the gap and make digital rap cool relied heavily on the game’s willingness to absorb black culture. When FN Meka shows off her wealth, she’s not just showing off cars and planes that look like they came straight out of a video game. Vehicles all bridges with custom gaming chairs, not the supple skin you might expect from these boasts. The sound effects that FN Meka uses in his videos. exit games like Durable metal gear. FN Meka will find time to cut open an Xbox Series X that turns out to be a cake. FN Meka, whose green glow is reminiscent of Razor products, takes the stage to promote your new song by riding the Fortnite battle bus. FN Meka is coming fight your enemies with fake halo energy sword.

FN Meka also has an AI that tells him to say the “n” word, as well as a video showing him being beaten by a police officer in prison. These are not unrelated things. They were calculated and they worked. FN Meka’s videos have received millions of views.

“Some of the early material, when taken out of context, obviously looks worse or different than you would expect,” said Anthony Martini, founder of Factory New, the company behind FN Meka. The newspaper “New York Times.

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