The world’s first AI-powered rapper, FM Meka, is making a lot of headlines currently. The virtual rapper has struck a deal with a major record label, Capitol Records. Meka has also released its first single, titled Florida Water, in collaboration with rapper Gunna.
The virtual rapper has been created by Anthony Martini and Brandon Le. While its first track is already trending on social media, a section is also skeptical about the use of AI to create music. Read on to know more about the AI rapper and its growing popularity.
FM Meka Signed a Deal with Capitol Records
The virtual rapper has gained 10 million followers and over a billion views on TikTok within a year of joining the platform. Meka is seen inviting fans to his virtual world on his TikTok page, which includes jumbo Bugatti jets and Maybach helicopters. It also enjoys a huge following on Instagram and has over 200k followers.
Looking at its popularity, Capitol Records decided to sign the robot rapper. Its first song, Florida Water, is now trending on TikTok with over 190k views. Talking about the deal, Ryan Ruden of Capitol Records said, “[Meka] meets at the intersection of music, technology and gaming culture. It’s just a preview of what’s to come.”
The Virtual Rapper’s Voice is that of a Real Human
Anthony Martini and Brandon Le are the founders of Factory New, a virtual record label that signed the rapper first. In a conversation, Martini revealed that the rapper’s voice is that of a real human, but “everything else about him—from his lyrics to the chords and tempo underpinning his music—is based on AI.”
Last year, Martini had stated that he and Brandon felt traditional A&R is ‘inefficient and unreliable.’ He added, “We’ve developed a proprietary AI technology that analyzes certain popular songs of a specified genre and generates recommendations for the various elements of song construction: lyrical content, chords, melody, tempo, sounds, etc. We then combine these elements to create the song.”
At the time, the founders revealed that they were even looking at prospects of collaborating with other computers as co-writers, stating, “A human voice performs the vocals, but we are working towards the ability to have a computer come up with and perform its own words – and even collaborate with other computers as ‘co-writers.”
Meka is also Facing Criticism on Social Media
Some people are also criticizing the move of creation of music by a robotic rapper. Others are concerned about the controversial lyrics used in the first released track. People are now voicing their concerns on social media.
A Twitter user wrote, “The news of FN Meka being the first AI rapper out there and also being a slap in the face to rap culture & artistic integrity is also potentially gonna ruin the perception of music fronted by robot characters,” while another tweeted, “An AI rapper that says the n-word fabricating police brutality… literally every single thing about this is so off-key.”
Martini had earlier defended his creation, comparing him to Marshmello. He said in a 2021 interview, “You could look at a guy like Marshmello – he’s not real for all intents and purposes either. He could be a digital being too and it wouldn’t make a difference to the fans of the music. We’re trying to blur those lines even more and trying to bring everyone to the future.”
What are your thoughts about the world’s first AI-powered rapper? Let us know in the comments section.