An AI-generated verse in the style of Kanye West has gone viral after being posted online.
Shared on Sunday (March 26), the video shows how AI can accurately replicate the voice of any musician and develop musical content that sounds like it was recorded by the artists themselves.
The video was posted by AI expert Roberto Nickson who used the computer programme to generate an approximation of West’s voice and share an AI-developed verse that references the rapper’s recent controversies.
“All you have to do is record reference vocals and replace them with a trained model of any musician you like,” Nickson wrote on Twitter in explaining how he developed the verse. “I found this Kanye-style beat on YouTube, I wrote eight bars, I’m gonna record them now and then I’m gonna have AI Kanye replace me.”
And just like that. The music industry is forever changed.
I recorded a verse, and had a trained AI model of Kanye replace my vocals.
The results will blow your mind. Utterly incredible. pic.twitter.com/wY1pn9RGWx
— Roberto Nickson (@rpnickson) March 26, 2023
The final product included lyrics such as: “I attacked a whole religion all because of my ignorance/ What was I thinking/ That was some b**** s***/ I lost Adidas/ But I’m still Yeezy”. This was made in reference to West’s recent anti-Semitic comments, and his former partnership with Adidas, which was severed in 2022.
At the time of writing, the video has accumulated more than five million views and has been shared across the platform close to 8,000 times.
In response to the verse, some fans have taken to Twitter to predict how AI may reshape the world of songwriting. “Wow this is going to disrupt the music industry completely,” wrote one user.
Another wrote: “This tech is crazy, it’s amazing to see what’s possible. And scary,” while another was more critical of the prospect, adding: “[This is] literally this is so wrong and so bad for the industry, I can’t name a single reason for coders to make such things”.
literally this is so wrong and so bad for the industry, i cant name a single reason for coders to make such things
— DMC Style | Platinum Producer (@DMCStyle) March 27, 2023
Nickson proceeded to explain how he thinks the technology will develop “very, very fast” over the next few years. “Keep in mind, this is the worst that AI will ever be,” he said. “In just a few years, basically every popular musician will have multiple trained models of them.”
Last week singer-songwriter Nick Cave spoke out against the prospect of using artificial intelligence to write songs, saying that he wanted these programmes to “fuck off and leave songwriting alone”.
“Maybe A.I. can make a song that’s indistinguishable from what I can do. Maybe even a better song. But, to me, that doesn’t matter – that’s not what art is,” he said. “In my humble opinion, ChatGPT should just fuck off and leave songwriting alone.”
These follow comments he made back in January, in which he claimed that AI-generated musical content is “bullshit” and “a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human”.
West has yet to comment on the AI-generated verse.
Last week the rapper made headlines after claiming that he “likes Jewish people again”, following watching Jonah Hill’s performance in the 2012 film 21 Jump Street.
“Watching Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street made me like Jewish people again,” he wrote on Instagram. “No one should take anger against one or two individuals and transform that into hatred towards millions of people.”