Photo: Getty
  /  08.23.2022

Capitol Records is under fire after its virtual rapper FN Meka threw the N-word around like it’s nobody’s business.

The rapper, who is completely powered by artificial intelligence (AI), is a light-skinned robot sporting green dreads. It does not have a gender or another definitive phenotype, but following news that the computer generated rapper has signed with a major label, it has amassed over 10 million followers on TikTok.

While no race has been publicly assigned to the digital character, what has been revealed is that it was created by a white man by the name of Anthony Martini. “We’ve developed a proprietary AI technology that analyzes certain popular songs of a specified genre and generates recommendations for the various elements of song construction: lyrical content, chords, melody, tempo, sounds, etc.,” said Martini in an interview last year. “We then combine these elements to create the song.”

He also noted that a human voice performs the vocals, which is why the rapper’s use of the N-word is now the center of public scrutiny. Initially, FN Meka made headlines for being the “world’s first augmented reality – or ‘AR’ – artist” to sign with a major label.

“Stupid f**king precedent has been set,” wrote one Twitter user. “Attack on artists. Labels wanna be cheap and not have to pay real artists so they’re making bots [so] they can keep 100% profit. This s**t is gross. Not to mention saying n**ga? Why?” And if the robot’s use of the N-word isn’t enough, the AI artist also posted a police brutality scenario to its Instagram page, asking for the public’s advice on how to respond to the interaction. “POLICE BRUTALITY,” wrote FN Meka in a post on the now-private IG account. “What should I do? This guard keeps beating me w/ his BATON because I won’t snitch. I ain’t NO RAT. Life in prison is so depressing… I wish I could get out so I could start making music again.”

Check out the culture’s reactions to FN Meka below.

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