As artificial intelligence continues to divide the music industry, some are welcoming the evolving technology with open arms. On Wednesday (May 3), Timbaland shared a new song on social media, featuring Notorious B.I.G. using AI technology for the original verse.
“Alright so, I’m sitting here with my brother, Creatr God, and we know that it’s a lot of talk about AI and we know how the feelings of violating certain things,” explained the producer in the Instagram upload. “But let me tell you something: I got a solution, I’m working on it. It’s gon’ be beneficial to everybody.”
He continued, “But, in the meantime, I gotta share something I’ve been working on because I always wanted to do this and I never got a chance to. I always wanted to work with Big and I never got a chance to — until today. It came out right! Play!”
The snippet features a slightly distorted voice similar to that of the “Big Poppa” rapper dropping lines such as “it ain’t on me it’s in me,” and “it’s not giving.” The verse also references Nipsey Hussle, Pop Smoke, and Young Dolph, rappers who came after Biggie Smalls, whose careers were also ended short by gun violence.
AI continues to be a disrupter, not only due to the ability to use the voice of musicians who have passed, but also being able to give modern songs new voices and create new songs from simple prompts in the style of artists who are still alive. Drake, Michael Jackson, Kendrick Lamar, and more have all had their vocal likeness used on AI covers.
Universal Music Group has pushed for streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music to block AI programming from using the platforms to train technology.
“We have a moral and commercial responsibility to our artists to work to prevent the unauthorized use of their music and to stop platforms from ingesting content that violates the rights of artists and other creators,” explained the statement issued by UMG.
“We expect our platform partners will want to prevent their services from being used in ways that harm artists.”