Fake AI-made disses further muddy the Drake vs. Kendrick beef

In what is being called the most important rap beef since the Notorious BIG and Tupac spat in the ’90s, Drake and Kendrick Lamar, two of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed MCs alive, are feuding in a series of increasingly personal attacks that have the online music community intently watching the social channels of the two artists.

But as the two artists release multi-million played song after song, some are using AI software to create and share fake diss tracks in order to capitalise on the enormous interest the beef is generating.

In the last five days, Lamar has released three four-minute-plus diss tracks aimed at Drake in response to Drake’s own diss dropped on the Canadian rapper’s channels two weeks ago. In his own rebuttal against Lamar, Drake has released two more disses in the last two days.

These are all songs of high production quality as expected of the two successful musicians, with creative, incendiary and often comical lyrics aimed at discrediting the other artist in different ways. As well as serious allegations that Lamar has levied against Drake.

In the two weeks since “Pushups,” the initial Kendrick diss from Drake, was dropped, the collection of fiery musical attacks by the two artists has generated over 80 million views, and that’s just on YouTube on their official channels. Not counting unofficial reuploads nor Spotify or Apple Music streams.

AI is the third rapper in the Kendrick vs. Drake beef

But as fans rush to find the latest diss track as soon as it lands, some of the songs are turning up to be authentic-sounding fakes, made using AI.

One particular fake diss made by AI, “One Shot” purports to be a leaked Kendrick Lamar song, targeted at Drake. It has been re-uploaded several times across different social media platforms and has accrued several hundred thousand views, with commenters still deciphering if it is real or not.

It is clearly a well-made counterfeit.

Another alleged diss track from Drake, “Hi Whitney” (Lamar’s wife) is also a purported leak, where Drake disses Lamar and other rappers. This particular song sounds like a recording of a recording, with many believing it to be an authentic leak.

Unfortunately, this was confirmed by Drake himself to have been made by AI. It was revealed by producer and streamer DJ Academiks that Drake told him the song was fake.

“I guess when I was playing that ‘Hi Whitney’ shit, he said that’s A.I. He said 100% A.I. So, I’m gonna take his word,” Akademics said on stream, as per Hot New Hip Hop. Some still believe that the song is a leak, but this is doubtful as the latest tracks contain much more personal attacks, and are being released on the artists’ official channels.

Drake himself has long been embroiled in the wave of AI-made music. Last year, a song called “Heart on My Sleeve” by Drake featuring The Weeknd stormed social media thanks to its catchiness. It turned out to be an AI-made fake, that used samples from the artists to produce brand-new authentic music.

The Toronto native then made headlines when he experimented with AI in his own music. Using software to have an AI version of Tupac and the still-much-alive Snoop Dogg rap on one of his songs titled “Taylor Made Freestyle.”

He removed the songs from his pages when the Tupac Shakur Estate threatened to sue him. It has been re-uploaded several times. It is alleged that Drake rapped while software changed his voice to sound like the Hip-Hop legends.

“The Estate is deeply dismayed and disappointed by your unauthorized use of Tupac’s voice and personality,” read a letter to Drake from the Shakur Estate’s lawyer, seen by Billboard.

“The unauthorized, equally dismaying use of Tupac’s voice against Kendrick Lamar, a good friend to the Estate who has given nothing but respect to Tupac and his legacy publicly and privately, compounds the insult,” the lawyer added.

But the conversation around AI-generated music is still in its infancy, and only now are large corporations like YouTube and the Universal Music Group looking into the software to spin up new music from deceased artists, like the latest Beatles song that uses AI to fill in missing pieces of John Lennon’s voice recordings.

In particular, YouTube is looking to start using Google’s generative AI technology in the hopes of recreating the voices of famous artists.

With Drake dropping another diss just yesterday, the beef is likely only going to heat up from here. Hopefully, this can stay between two men, and not two men and a machine.


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