An AI rapper has become the fastest rapper to ever be dropped by a music label — a sentence I didn’t think I’d ever have to write until at least 2063.
The rapper named FN Meka has faced online backlash for being a “Black artist” despite the fact zero Black people are behind his creation. So essentially: blackface.
Capitol Records (which is under Universal Music Group) signed FN Meka on August 14 but announced that it would be dropping him on August 24 after folks online rightfully slammed the entire premise of a Black digital persona without any Black creatives behind it at all.
“CMG has severed ties with the FN Meka project, effective immediately,” a spokesperson for Capitol Records wrote in a statement.
“We offer our deepest apologies to the Black community for our insensitivity in signing the project without asking enough questions about equity and the creative process behind it.
“We thank those who have reached out to us with constructive feedback in the past couple of days — your input was invaluable as we came to the decision to end our association with the project.”
Discourse kicked off after an FN Meka track from 2019 titled “Moonwalkin” resurfaced online, in which the N-word is used multiple times. Who was programming him to say such a thing? Who was voicing him?
AI RAPPERS UP NEXT‼️
— RemixdMag (@RemixdMag) August 21, 2022
Since being dropped from Capitol Records — even though he should never have been picked up in the first place — FN Meka’s track “Florida Water” has been removed from socials (although it still appears on Spotify) and his Instagram has been made private.
The entire concept of Black bodies being used by non-Black people for profit isn’t something new to the internet, either. The rise of AI technology has given way to many individuals creating Black personas without a single Black person involved in the creation.
Shudu Gram, a Black AI model, was revealed to be the creation of a white man in his twenties. It’s quite literally blackface under the guise of innovation.
FN Meka just represents the complete bastardaization, colonization, and whitewashing of hip-hop and total control of Black Music altogether. In no universe should this offensive bullshit be given credence, but money talks and bullshit walks.
— 🇳🇬Temisan Adoki🇻🇮 (@iamtemisanadoki) August 23, 2022
i asked FN Meka about being dropped from Capital Records and their response couldn’t have been worse pic.twitter.com/QEDdzIKcIN
— jarvis johnson (@jarvis) August 24, 2022
“The old model of finding talent is inefficient and unreliable,” Web3 investor and white man Anthony Martini told Music Business Worldwide.
“It requires spending time scouring the internet, travelling to shows, flying to meetings, expending resources all in search of the magic combination of qualities that just might translate into a superstar act.”
So instead of finding a human being to invest in, you decided to create a Black man to rap for you. It’s giving coloniser. It’s giving rich white man with not an ounce of respect for anyone who doesn’t look like him.
Do you know how many ppl had to agree before signing FN MEKA? A lot. They all thought it was a great idea. They all saw dollar signs & felt innovative without any regard to the culture they’re actively exploiting daily. Capitol Records is under Universal Music Group btw. Shame!
— Tori Nicks 2.0 🛰 (@MajestyRia) August 23, 2022
fn meka is literally just blackface lmao there isn’t any nuance or whatever to how fucked it is. it’s just blackface
— ✶ Rhiannon ✶ (@DjRecode) August 23, 2022
To make matters worse, the FN Meka Instagram account posted a picture of the character being attacked by a police officer in 2019. The image was captioned “POLICE BRUTALITY”.
There has never been a clearer sign that there are no Black people behind the character at all. Using violence and trauma to advertise your product is an absolutely despicable thing to do. It shows a complete neglect for Black lives all for the sake of profit.
FN Meka’s entire existence is exploitative and offensive.
Black folks’ existence is literally a joke to a lot of people smfh
— The Mayor of Trey Town, PlumDawg Millionaire (@TreyTownMayor) August 23, 2022
Hopefully, we never have to witness AI rappers ever again. Someone needs to strip straight men of their money.