Rapper Ice Cube tore into the latest viral trend of AI-generated music by famous artists and threatened to take legal action if someone used his voice to create new music.
AI-produced songs are the latest point of contention in the music industry–which involves covering a famous song or a new song sounding exactly like the voice of a famous artist.
This raises the question of recording companies no longer needing the voices of real, live, authentic artists for profitability.
Many fans have also been fooled into thinking new songs were performed by The Weeknd and Drake when those artists have not recorded them. One of many viral examples included a TikTok video of an AI song featuring Ariana Grande covering Drake’s “Controlla.”
You can hear it here:
Its caption read:
“Ariana AI singing ‘Controlla’ better than Drake.”
Ice Cube launched into the conversation of AI in an interview with Full Send Podcast.
You can watch the discussion here:
After being asked about new rap artists, the West Coast rapper continued:
"The artists are getting lost in autotunes, and now that you have an AI computer, I think people don’t want a computerized rapper no more."
"They want to hear your voice. I don’t know any rappers by they voice no more. I used to know all the rappers just–hear they voice, know who that is."
"I think they need to figure out how to put that autotune down, and we need to hear what people sound like and if they’re as good because I think AI is demonic."
"I think AI is gonna get a backlash from real people—real, organic people—and so I think artists need to go back to using their real voice and making sure people know this is authentic and not made from a computer.”
When asked if he thought all music artists used AI technology, he replied:
“I think autotune sounds computer-like, and I think it’s all starting to sound artificial because of AI.”
Ice Cube asserted he didn't want to hear an AI Drake song, adding:
"I don’t want to hear that bullsh*t, and he should sue whoever made it.”
And if he found himself subjected to similar circumstances with his own music, he asserted:
“I’m gonna sue the motherf*cker who make it, too, and the platform that plays it.”
Twitter didn't blame him.
Financial Times reported Universal Music Group–which represents major artists such as Drake, the Weeknd, Nicki Minaj, and Ariana Grande–sent a letter asking streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music to block AI platforms from training on the lyrics and melodies of copywritten songs.
Advanced AI has the capability of training on existing music available on the internet or through catalogs of music provided to AI by people.
UMG noted that while they were not against artificial intelligence technology, they were strongly opposed to sophisticated AI that can generate new music and recreate famous artists' voices in seconds.
A UMG spokesperson said:
"The training of generative AI using our artists’ music … begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on.”