Less than two weeks after AI rapper FN Meka signed to Capitol Records, the label has now severed ties with the robot amid backlash surrounding the n-word.
According to Variety, Capitol Records issued a statement following their decision.
“CMG has severed ties with the FN Meka project, effective immediately. We offer our deepest apologies to the Black community for our insensitivity in signing this project without asking enough questions about equity and the creative process behind it. We thank those who have reached out to us with constructive feedback in the past couple of days — your input was invaluable as we came to the decision to end our association with the project.”
The artist recently released a single “Florida Water” featuring Gunna, which has since been taken down. His 2019 single “Moonwalkin” which uses the n-word resurfaced on Twitter and caused controversy after users found out that no one on the team behind FN Meka was Black.
Nonprofit organization Industry Blackout, which is a unified group of industry professionals committed to making a change in the Black community also accused the AI rapper of being a “caricature.”
“It is a direct insult to the Black community and our culture — an amalgamation of gross stereotypes, appropriative mannerisms that derive from Black artists, complete with slurs infused in lyrics,” Industry Blackout wrote in an official statement posted on their Twitter. “This digital effigy is a careless abomination and disrespectful to real people who face real consequences in real life.”
On Aug. 11 Capitol Records announced the signing of FN Meka saying that he was “the world’s biggest A.R. rapper,” in a press release.
The AI rapper was created by the virtual record label Factory New with Meka being their first signee. The company’s co-founder, Anthony Martini, explained the process in an interview last year with the publication.
“The old model of finding talent is inefficient and unreliable,” he expressed.
“It requires spending time scouring the internet, traveling to shows, flying to meetings, expending resources all in search of the magic combination of qualities that just might translate into a superstar act. Even with all the money labels devote to finding talent, the success rate is a pitiful 1%. Now we can literally custom-create artists using elements proven to work, greatly increasing the odds of success. Even if we can get to 2% success rate then we’ve doubled the industry standard.”