Drake ordered to delete song featuring AI-generated voice of Tupac Shakur

Colleta Ochieng
Colleta Ochieng

A Drake track featuring an AI-generated version of Tupac Shakur’s voice has disappeared after lawyers for the late rapper reportedly threatened to sue.

The Canadian megastar uploaded Taylor Made Freestyle, which also used AI to mimic Snoop Dogg, last Friday.

Then on Wednesday this week, reports said Tupac’s estate had ordered Drake to delete the track within 24 hours.

The post containing the clip vanished from the rapper’s @Champagnepapi account on Thursday evening.

Neither side has commented publicly since the track was removed.

Music magazine Billboard reported that Howard King, a lawyer for Tupac’s estate sent the cease-and-desist letter to Drake on Tuesday.

It called Taylor Made Freestyle a “flagrant violation” of the law and an “abuse” of Tupac’s legacy.

The letter said it was “dismayed and disappointed” and warned that the estate would “pursue all of its legal remedies” if he did not take the track down by the deadline.

Lawyer Mr King also pointed out that Drake had previously objected to his voice being cloned in viral track Heart on My Sleeve – which also copied the voice of Canadian singer The Weeknd.

Taylor Made Freestyle was the latest chapter in a back-and-forth diss track battle between Drake and rival Kendrick Lamar.

The AI-generated lines in the track from Tupac and Snoop Dogg took aim at the Pulitzer Prize-winning hip-hop artist – something that was also reportedly mentioned in the legal letter.

It called Kendrick “a good friend to the Estate who has given nothing but respect to Tupac and his legacy publicly and privately”.

In his own verse on the track, Drake referenced Taylor Swift, describing her as the “biggest gangster in the music game right now”.

He also called back to a line from his recent album – For All the Dogs – where he said he’d move his album to avoid releasing at the same time as the billionaire pop star.

Although he did drop his freestyle track just after her new album, The Tortured Poets Department, was released last week.

Tupac Shakur, whose stage name was stylised as 2Pac, was one of the most acclaimed names in hip-hop.

He released his debut album in 1991 and sold more than 75 million records worldwide, and charted with hits including California Love, All Eyez On Me and Changes.

He died in 1996, aged 25, after being shot four times in a drive-by attack in Las Vegas.

A former gang leader, Duane “Keffe D” Davis, has been charged with Shakur’s murder.

In November, the 60-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The BBC has attempted to contact Tupac estate lawyer Mr King and contacted Drake’s representatives for comment.

Source: BBC

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