Virtual Rapper FN Meka Powered by Artificial Intelligence Signs to Major Label
UPDATE (Aug. 23):
The announcement of FN Meka's record deal hasn't been without its own controversy. People have shown opposition to the "rapper" using the N-word on his previous tracks including "Moonwalkin" from 2019.
"Moonwalkin’ with a shawty in the lobby/Feel like Hank Hill when I raise the Bobby (Bobby)/I don’t see no niggas like we playin’ hockey (Hockey)," Meka raps on the song.
"FN Meka is an AI generated rapper, it already has a record deal with a major label and 500k monthly Spotify listeners, also uses the n word in its song," a Twitter user posted Monday (Aug. 22). "Shut that thing down."
The ’bot's creators have also been accused of perpetuating stereotypes on social media. One Instagram post in particular shows Meka being beaten by a cop in a jail cell because he "won't snitch."
"An AI rapper that says the n-word fabricating police brutality… literally every single thing about this is so off-key," a Twitter user recently opined.
ORIGINAL STORY (Aug. 21):
Hip-hop is now in the world of Artificial Intelligence. A virtual rapper named FN Meka, which is powered by AI, has signed with a major label.
According to a Music Business Worldwide article, published on Aug. 17, the "robot rapper" FN Meka has signed a deal with Capitol Records and dropped his first single, "Florida Water," which features the Gunna and gaming streamer Clix.
The AI-powered virtual rapper is the creation of Anthony Martini and Brandon Le. The men are cofounders of Factory New, a virtual record label who were the first to "sign" the robot rapper. According to Martini, the rapper's voice is a real human, but everything else is based off AI technology. Martini is also Chief Music Officer and Partner at Slip.stream,
"Technically speaking, FN Meka is voiced by a human," Martini told MBW. "But everything else about him—from his lyrics to the chords and tempo underpinning his music—is based on AI."
FN Meka’s fan base is huge on social media. In just over a year since his creation, he already has amassed 10 million followers on TikTok and over a billion views on the video-sharing platform.
On his TikTok page, Meka invites fans into his virtual world, which includes jumbo Bugatti jets, Maybach helicopters and machines that can turn ice into iced-out watches.
@fnmekaWhat color is your Bugatti?♬ AirplaneMode - BONES @fnmeka Which car should I mod next? #rollsroyce #supercar #rich ♬ Into The Thick Of It! - The Backyardigans @fnmekaGot a new ice machine to help keep my wrist on FROZE♬ Florida Water - FN Meka & Gunna & Clix
On the Turbo-produced song "Florida Water," Meka delivers flossy lines like, "Oh, just put it on my tab/I don't see the prices, throw it in my bag/Always in a foreign when I dash/Clean water VVS diamonds bust down/Make it splash."
Ryan Ruden, Capitol Music Group’s Executive Vice President of Experiential Marketing & Business Development, views the partnership with FN Meka as the future of music merging with technology. "[It] meets at the intersection of music, technology and gaming culture," he told MBW. "It's just a preview of what’s to come."
It will be interesting to see if hip-hop fans will embrace virtual rapper FN Meka.