Over the weekend, a song using fake Drake and The Weeknd vocals purportedly generated by AI went viral after being posted on YouTube and other streaming platforms. Now, it’s been pulled from streaming services after Universal Music Group issued a statement (via Billboard) that criticized “infringing content created with generative AI.”
Titled “heart on my sleeve,” the track was created by anonymous TikToker ghostwriter977, who uploaded it to major streaming platforms under the moniker ghostwriter. Opening with Metro Boomin’s producer tag and lyrics from both artists about The Weeknd’s ex Selena Gomez, it actually sounds like a collaboration that the rapper and singer would make.
“I came in with my ex like Selena to flex, ayy,” AI “Drake” raps on the chorus. “Bumpin’ Justin Bieber, the fever ain’t left, ayy.” Meanwhile, “The Weeknd” sings, “Got these pearls on my neck, got these girls on my check/ Like Selena, baby, I’ma cheat, oh maybe, I/ Stickin’ the Lambo for a drive, it’s an Aventador.” Check out a snippet of the track below.
Separately, AI-generated “Drake” vocals were recently used to cover Ice Spice’s breakout hit “Munch.” In response, the Toronto artist wrote a post on his Instagram Story saying, “This is the final straw.”
The Financial Times recently reported that Universal Music Group had told streaming services like Spotify and Apple to block companies from using the label’s songs to train their artificial intelligence technology.
In a new statement issued to Billboard, a UMG spokesperson said, “The training of generative AI using our artists’ music (which represents both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law) as well as the availability of infringing content created with generative AI on DSPs, begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on: the side of artists, fans and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud and denying artists their due compensation.”
Universal Music Group controls roughly one-third of the global music market, including Drake and The Weeknd’s parent label Republic Records. Though Billboard reports UMG declined to confirm whether it had sent formal takedown requests to streaming services, the YouTube video for “heart on my sleeve” now has a message reading that it’s “no longer available due to a copyright claim by Universal Group.”
Thanks to the proliferation of ChatGPT and other services, AI has become more accessible to the average person. Though neither Jerry Seinfeld nor Nick Cave have been impressed by AI-generated attempts to copy their work, David Guetta recently played a track featuring deepfake Eminem vocals at a live gig.
Plus, it’s only a matter of time before another label lets the dust settle from Capitol Records’ FN Meka project and publicly rolls out their own virtual rapper using lyrics generated by AI.
The most recent actual Drake song was the Kim Kardashian-sampling “Search & Rescue.” Grab tickets to his upcoming “It’s All a Blur Tour” via StubHub. Meanwhile, The Weeknd recently set a premiere date for his HBO series The Idol and crashed Metro Boomin’s set at Coachella. Tickets for the 2023 leg of his “After Hours Til Dawn Tour” are available now via StubHub.
Listen to this AI generated song featuring Drake & The Weeknd.
It goes so damn hard.
It's by "Ghostwriter977" on TikTok and it's blowing up on socials + streaming platforms.
UMG, which controls around 1/3 of the global music market, has already asked streaming platforms to ban… pic.twitter.com/roz2EfI48M
— Roberto Nickson (@rpnickson) April 16, 2023
this song is out. Iink in my bio
♬ Heart on My Sleeve by Ghostwriter out everywhere. – ghostwriter