The record label that signed the world’s first ever artificial intelligence (AI) rapper has given out its “deepest apologies to the black community” and has dropped the metaverse artist.
FN Meka, the AI rapper that took the form of a virtual black male, received widespread backlash after being signed to Capitol Records for using the N-word and other racial stereotypes in its songs.
Criticism hit its peak on Tuesday, August 23, after activist group Industry Blackout penned an open letter to Capitol Records claiming the AI rapper was a “direct insult to the black community”.
The letter criticised its “amalgamation of gross stereotypes, appropriative mannerism that derive from Black artists, [and] complete with slurs infused in lyrics.”
Industry Blackout demanded an immediate formal public apology and the termination of FN Meka from the record label.
Hours later, Capitol Records released a statement announcing they had severed ties with the artist.
“We offer our deepest apologies to the black community for our insensitivity in signing this project without asking enough questions about equity and the creative process behind it,” the statement read.
“We thank those who have reached out to us with constructive feedback in the past couple of days – your input was invaluable as we came to the decision to end our association with the project.”
Capitol Records, who has worked with the likes of the Beatles and Radiohead, announced the partnership with FN Meka just 10 days ago.
All of the AI artist’s music is performed by a black human male, but the lyrical content and music is generated by an AI, according to co-creator Anthony Martini.
Martini and his business partner, Brandon Le, created the AI artist by in 2019 and first signed it to their virtual label Factory New, XXL reported.
Factory New describes itself as a “first of its kind, next-generation music company, specialising in virtual beings.”
In FN Meka’s time on the music scene, it amassed over 500,000 monthly Spotify listeners.
The virtual rapper also attracted one billion views on its TikTok account, where FN would be shown in an animated world of private jets, designer watches and lots of cash.
Factory New would also use TikTok videos to sell unique NFTs related to the artist.
FN Meka’s music has been pulled from all streaming services.
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