In just two short weeks, the music community witnessed the rise and fall of A.I. rapper FN Meka. The virtual artist was signed to Capitol Records, only to be quickly dropped when listeners questioned who was involved in the making of an artificially created artist that would use the n-word. Now that the dust has settled, Anthony Martini,m the co-founder of Factory New, the company responsible for Meka, is speaking out about how rap fans should view the genre in general.
In a statement to The New York Times, Martini addressed how his company utilized a technology that researched popular themes and lyrics within hip-hop to generate lyrics that Meka would use in his songs. “If you’re mad about the lyrical content because it supposedly was A.I., why not be mad about the lyrical content in general?” he said. While true, it does not absolve the company for being shortsighted in their creation of an A.I. rapper that would exist within the hip-hop landscape.
Martini has reportedly distanced himself from FN Meka, in addition to leaving Factory New. “I joined the team in early 2020 because I am truly passionate about the future of digital media and felt my background could help fulfill Meka’s potential in the music industry,” he said. “It’s become apparent that I should have done more diligence before joining. In the past few days, I’ve learned of Kyle The Hooligan’s experience with Meka which is deeply at odds with my core values. I believe that artists must always be at the center of the creative process and must be compensated fairly.”
Despite the blunder, Martini remains optimistic about the future of virtual artists in this constantly technologically evolving world.
Check out Anthony Martini’s statement to New York Times above.