FN Meka’s career may be a wrap.
As AfroTech previously reported, FN Meka — co-created by Anthony Martini and his partner Brandon Le — became the first artificial intelligence rapper to be signed to Capitol Records. He even released a single titled “Florida Water,” featuring Gunna.
However, not everyone was a fan of FN Meka’s persona and questionable lyrics considering the voice behind the robot is a white male.
So the AI Rapper FN Meka is controlled by a white guy who repeatedly gets it to say the N-Word in it’s lyrics.
How are you feeling about this? pic.twitter.com/9SbigBcosl
— 🚨‼️Now HipHop News‼️🚨 (@BenjaminEnfield) August 23, 2022
Industry Blackout Holds Capitol Records Accountable
Industry Blackout — a unified body of Black people in the industry committed to changing the community — called for the label to cut its ties with the rapper.
Have you lost your FN minds? @capitolrecords @capitolmusic pic.twitter.com/TxbqDhJmv0
— Industry Blackout #IndustryBlackout (@industryblkout) August 23, 2022
In a letter penned to the record label, Industry Blackout said:
“It has come to our attention that your company has decided to partner with Factory New on signing the artificially designed ‘rapper’ FN Meka. While we applaud innovation in tech that connects listeners to music and enhances the experience, we find fault in the lack of awareness in how offensive this caricature is. It is a direct insult to the Black community and our culture. An amalgamation of gross stereotypes, appropriative mannerisms that derive from Black artists, complete with slurs infused in lyrics.”
Capitol Records Cuts Ties
Later, Capitol Records responded and decided to cut ties with the rapper, The Hollywood Reporter revealed.
FN Meka’s artist page and press release about its signing have already been removed from Capitol Records’ website. The single “Florida Water” has also been ripped from all streaming platforms.
“CMG has severed ties with the FN Meka project, effectively immediately,” Capitol Records said in a statement. “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. 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.”
Industry Blackout called this moment “a great victory” and affirmed technology should be used to empower the culture.
“We feel it it is a great victory that Capitol Records terminated their contract with FN Meka however, the fact this happened to begin with shows how much work is still ahead of us,” Industry Blackout said, according to XXL. “We’re glad the people amplified our voices to be heard so quickly on a Black issue, and that our action led to results. This should set a precedent that shows how Black and Brown voices can unify behind issues and get things done. There was a great opportunity to do something innovative with hip hop and tech. Tech should be used to amplify the culture And there’s still a chance to do so—the right way. At the end of the day, we’ve been about the people since inception and continue to focus on our community. At every turn we will stand up when needed.”