In addition to being a rapper and producer, Lupe Fiasco is also a teacher. Last year, he taught a rap course at MIT and broke down lyrics by iconic hip-hop artists. Now, he’s joined the discussion about how AI will play a role in the genre.
The “Superstar” performer has teamed up with Google for an AI tool called TextFX that aids “the writing process of creating raps.” In a Google Lab Sessions video, Fiasco explains, “Rap is born out of technology. Rap wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for these technological advancements.” He lists examples, such as a DJ’s turntable, microphones, recording studios, Auto-Tune, and more. “What’s next?” he says. “Artificial Intelligence, large language models — rap’s optimal for it.”
A Creative Technologist at Google named Aaron Wade steps in and explains the tool, which actually is a large language model. “Initially, we thought that maybe Lupe would want an AI system to write lyrics for him, verses, and raps,” he said. “But it turns out that he didn’t want that at all. What he wanted was a tool that helped him explore the universe of possibilities that can arise from any given word, or phrase, or concept.”
Watch Fiasco’s full Google Lab Session above and check out TextFX here.