Photo: Getty
  /  09.01.2022

Who would’ve thought an N-word drop from a rapper on Twitter would cause such a ruckus? But, when the rapper in question, named FN Meka, is an AI one – that is, one created from artificial intelligence – that would definitely be an unusual twist and raise some eyebrows.

Then, add in the fact that the public didn’t know who the voice of the character was and if it was even from a Black person. So, per usual when something has them f**ked up, Black Twitter took to the tweets and demanded answers.

Who the heck was allowing this AI rapper FN Meka – who’s giving all types of 6ix9ine and Lil Pump vibes – to say the N-word in his music?

What made matters appear worse was that one of the most reputable music labels in the world, Capitol Records, co-signed the mysterious AI rapper by signing it. However, that moment lasted shorter than the time it takes to cook minute rice. The backlash on social media from that move got so severe that Capitol dropped Meka just a couple of weeks after bringing him on board.

With all of this viral commotion, the search for answers only intensified by the minute. But, after much digging, it was learned that FN Meka was created by a man named Brandon Le and his company Factory New. Anthony Martini, a music professional who’s managed the likes of Tyga, Lil Dicky and more in his career, was also named a co-creator. However, when all of the bad press surrounding the AI figure began to spread, Anthony quickly released a statement announcing that he was severing ties with Meka and Factory New.

But, still, who was FN Meka? Initially, it was almost impossible to find out because the creator did such a good job at making sure his true identity remained a mystery. However, that creator didn’t count on one thing: The voice actually speaking out.

Taking to his Instagram during this ordeal, rapper Kyle The Hooligan finally came forward as the voice behind the AI character – and it turns out that he has a lot to say. From claiming he’s never been paid for voicing Meka to the creator ghosting him, his thoughts on the backlash and more, Kyle revealed all in his interview with REVOLT.

Kyle is now planning to sue Factory New and Brandon to recoup the money he’s rightfully owed for the project. Read what he had to say about his experience voicing FN Meka, the issues he’s faced from it, why he regrets doing it and more below.

How were you approached to voice FN Meka?

A mutual friend introduced us and that’s when I was talking to [Brandon Le] directly after that.

What songs did you voice?

One called “Internet,” “Moonwalkin’” and there was another one, “Cowboy.” I did several other songs and ideas as well, but those were the three that came out before being posted. I wrote everything. Music 100 percent was me.

There was a lot of controversy on social media these last few weeks because on one of the songs, Meka was heard saying the N-word. That was you?

Yeah, that was my voice.

Were you aware that FN Meka would be a Black rapper? With you saying the N-word on the song, was his race a thinking point when you were making it?

I wasn’t even thinking about it, honestly. It was just AI and I was supposed to be basically a partner; promised equity in the character. I’m thinking that’s me. You know what I’m saying? Me recording, I’m just recording how I would record. I didn’t think nothing of it because I’m Black.

Did you even see how Meka looked yet at that point?

No. The characters were created, which was when I got introduced. They wanted a rapper to make it a rapper and that’s when I joined the team.

When you first saw FN Meka, to you, it came off as a Black person because you said you were thinking it would be like you, right? That was the whole thought process?

When I got involved, as far as rapping, when they promised me equity in the character, I felt at that point, it was a collaborative project and I was supposed to be a partner in the character. That’s when I said, “Okay, the character is basically me in a different form. An AI alter ego type of thing.”

I didn’t really think of it as a race or anything like that. When I got involved, I was a part of the character.

There’s this IG post from 2019 that’s on FN Meka’s page and it shows him getting beat up by a cop and calling it police brutality. Did you see this beforehand and if not, what are your thoughts now?

No, I never seen that. The only thing I seen [was] when he was in a jail suit and he was beating up 6ix9ine. I believe I was already ghosted by the time all this [happened]. When they went left field.

I felt like that was crossing the line because, for one, you’re not Black. It’s already hard being Black in America. Just leaving your house and making it back home is already a challenge in itself. You never know what happens just on a day-to-day. I felt like that crossed the line. That wasn’t cool at all.

When you say he wasn’t Black, are you talking about the character or the people who made it up?

Yeah. The creator [Brandon]. [He’s] the one that’s doing it. It’s not like the thing is doing it itself.

What’s been your reaction to all of the backlash on social media that you’ve seen? What have you been thinking?

That it’s good because they shouldn’t have cut me out and karma don’t play and God don’t play. It’s good that people can shine light, and they can see what’s going on and shed light on Black creatives that don’t basically get their credit or compensated.

What made you say something now? Did you want to say something as soon as you did see everything go viral?

I wasn’t even going to say nothing. I was going to let it get big and then go after them because I was promised things, but it was a whole bunch of broken promises. I was young. You know what I’m saying? I needed money. I felt like it was a dope opportunity for me to join this thing and see where it went and looking at it, it went far. I wasn’t going to say anything, but then when I seen they were hitting me up and the backlash, I felt like they was only hitting me up to cover their ends.

They was asking me would I mind getting back on board with the character. I just felt like I had to say something at that point. You all went viral off of my music, my sound and just ghosted me. So, I had to let everybody know to shine light on this type of thing.

Okay, let’s dig into that. What exactly happened? You do the music for Factory New and Brandon Le, they use the music and then they completely ghost you after?

That’s exactly what happened. When [Anthony] — I don’t know if he was working with Capitol or not — but he reached out [to Brandon] and [Anthony] was like, “Yo, what happened with the original guy that was doing the records?” and then [Brandon] said that, “Oh, it is a kid from Brooklyn. He said that he didn’t want to do the FN Meka stuff anymore.”

[Anthony] was trying to see who it was and find out, and [Brandon] wasn’t even trying to tell him. Basically, I recorded all the stuff. [Brandon] liked it. I went through many different voices and different styles. [Brandon] wanted more of some TikTok viral [sound] — Lil Pump, 6ix9ine, that type of sound. I gave [Brandon] different voices, different styles. I had pitched my voice up. It didn’t sound like me, so it wasn’t colliding with my actual career.

[Brandon] basically just got it … [and] was like, “Yeah, we want to go with that voice, that style” and after I gave them what they wanted, they was going viral. I thought everything was good. Then, over time, I just lost contact with [Brandon], never heard from them again and then wake up one day, I’m seeing [FN Meka got signed to] Capitol [Records]. It got a feature with Gunna. It was just a shock to me, honestly.

Let’s backtrack a little bit. You said initially they were going after someone from Brooklyn to do the voice before you?

No. [Brandon] was talking about me and said I was a Brooklyn kid. I was a Brooklyn rapper. “He didn’t want to do the voice anymore.” [Brandon] basically downplayed it to act like, oh I was doing it [and] I just didn’t want to do the Meka thing anymore, so that’s why they replaced me in a sense.

Which was a lie? That wasn’t the truth?

Yeah. It was a lie.

What was the timeline that all this happened? When did Brandon reach out to you? When was the last time you heard from him, recorded the music and he started to ghost you?

Could have been Oct. 2019. Around that time to early 2020. That’s when I was doing stuff and we would DM back and forth and stuff. I got posted sometime in 2020.

You haven’t heard from anyone since?

Well, since recently. When all this stuff started going crazy, I heard from them again.

[In 2021, Genius journalist Jacques Morel hit me]. He was basically trying to find out who was FN Meka, who was behind it. I had DM’d [Brandon] like, “Yo, this guy has been hitting me up” because [Brandon] wanted to make it basically mysterious. They didn’t really want to have anyone knowing. They wanted the people to believe it was actual AI. I was like, “This dude’s hitting me up.” [Brandon] was like, “Yeah, man, just don’t respond to it.”

When did Jacques hit you up?

[It was April 2021] when he was trying to figure it out. I thought everything was done. [Brandon] wasn’t really doing anything with the character anymore. After one of my performances at 2022 South by Southwest, Jacques came up to me and was like, “Dude.” He was like, “I have to know. Were you behind FN Meka the rapper?” and then that’s when I ended up telling. He was like he just needed the last little dot to connect for his story. It was a good thing I did tell him because it probably would’ve never even come out that I did the voice. That would let people know from the jump, okay, Kyle The Hooligan has something to do with it.

Who on FN Meka’s team reached out to you recently and what did they say?

It was the management [Anthony]. He was basically asking would I want to come back on board and be the voice for Meka and stuff like that.

Do you know what timeline that was?

That was probably, let me see, when they got signed to Capitol. It was probably two days after. When the backlash started coming was when they hit me up.

Super recent. Within the month or so?

Yeah, literally. I’m looking now. It was 2020, and then 2021, I was asking [Brandon], “Who is this guy?” because [Jacquel] kept DM’ing me. [Brandon] said, “Some guy trying to write an article [on] who’s behind FM Meka. If you cannot reveal who made it, I would appreciate it. I want to keep it a mystery, would be better just to ignore it, to be honest.” I said, “Bet, got you.” [Brandon] said, “Thank you,” and then we were talking about NFT stuff and that was on April 27, 2021 and then I hit him up May 4, 2021 and said, “Okay,” and I said, “Was you all still doing the music thing?” and never heard from [Anthony] until Tuesday on his account.

Wow.

The manager dude [Anthony], I seen that he’s stopped working with [Brandon] or something like that because he didn’t know that I’ve never been compensated, and I was promised equity and all this type of stuff.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Kyle’s involvement was before I met the Meka team, so I just learned of it when everyone else did, which is why I chose to quit the project,” Anthony told REVOLT in a statement.

[Anthony] said he didn’t know that you were offered equity?

After the fact, but when I was talking to him and I told him, [Anthony] was like, “Yeah.” He knew, but he was saying in his article that he didn’t know it at the time and stuff like that, but he had called me and we got on a call and he was basically agreeing, “Yeah, you were owed equity,” and stuff like that. Being compensated. He said that he was going to talk to Brandon and then I didn’t hear from him. Then, it started going crazy and then I talked to him recently and he basically was clearing the air type of thing.

Did you even get paid for the songs? Did you get anything at all out of it?

The only thing that ever came was from the song “Moonwalkin’.” It probably did like $500 in three years because they put me on the DistroKid — a percentage on the DistroKid — but not from any of the TikToks, the overall things. I never got compensated, but I never was taking upfront money anyways. I was promised equity in the character. I was supposed to have an image over the whole.

Were you in talks at all with Capitol Records or was it just the creator and the management?

Just the creator [Brandon] and the management [Anthony]. I’m not sure, I know [Anthony] set it up with Capitol, so I’m not sure how deep his ties were with the Capitol. But, from my knowledge, he was managing the thing and went to Capitol and got the deal. Those were the only two contacts I had at that time.

Do you regret voicing FN Meka?

I regret it because they took advantage and lied. That’s the thing I regret the most about doing it. Just using my likeness and using me, and… liars. People that weren’t genuine.

If they made everything right, do you think you would consider doing it again?

Honestly, the trust is already broken, so I’m not too sure if I would join back with that team. If it was a different team that wanted to do something dope like that, I wouldn’t mind exploring that option with a different character doing something.

Before we go, do you have any upcoming music that you want to talk about?

Well, on Sept. 16, I’m dropping a record called “6:00 AM” with my boy Xo nosleep. He’s a producer, very talented. Shout out to Xo. Be looking out for that. I just dropped a video also, “Say My Name,” and the support I’ve been getting — the genuine fans and supporters — have been amazing. I want people to check that out also and I might have a surprise drop on SoundCloud for people that are really tuned in.

Do you think any of this has given you inspiration for your new music? Do you think you’re going to address anything on upcoming songs?

I’m not too sure if I’m going to address it on songs, but it definitely has inspired me because I’m like, “Damn, this thing I did really blew up and got signed by Capitol.” And the genuine love I’m seeing now on my actual pages on YouTube and my Spotify, and people telling me how talented I really am is really motivating me to go harder. I feel that anytime, this could pop off and it just showed me. I literally got a virtual character signed.

What’s the main message you want to get out with this interview?

The main thing I want people to know is don’t just look at me as the FN Meka guy. I’m an actual artist and get to know Kyle The Hooligan because they’ll be in for a good treat. Also, I wanted to say, too, it’s funny. I was going on TikTok and I saw that they deleted everything. They have one video.

Deleted his account?  

Just did it. They deleted all the videos. I think they have one video. All this stuff, all my viral videos and stuff, they deleted all of it.

Wow.

I don’t know if it was because of the lawyers involved, but I don’t know what they’re up to. But, I feel like they’re up to something.

REVOLT reached out to Brandon Le for a statement and has yet to receive one.

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