Sheryl Crow Slams Drake for Using AI to Recreate Tupac’s Voice on His Kendrick Lamar Diss Track: ‘It’s Hateful’ and ‘Antithetical’ to Life

Sheryl Crow recently spoke to the BBC and slammed artificial intelligence being used in the music space to bring back the vocals of dead artists. She specifically called out Drake for using AI to recreate the voice of late rapper Tupac on his Kendrick Lamar diss track “Taylor Made Freestyle” in April. The song was ultimately pulled after Tupac’s estate threatened to sue Drake.

“You cannot bring people back from the dead and believe that they would stand for that,” Crow told the BBC. “I’m sure Drake thought, ‘Yeah, I shouldn’t do it, but I’ll say sorry later’. But it’s already done, and people will find it even if he takes it down.”

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Crow added on an even more pointed note: “It’s hateful. It is antithetical to the life force that exists in all of us.”

Drake used AI to recreate vocals from Tupac and Snoop Dogg in “Taylor Made Freestyle.” In the aftermath of the song’s release, Tupac’s estate sent a cease-and-desist letter to Drake, and estate litigator Howard King said the estate was “deeply dismayed and disappointed by [Drake’s] unauthorized use of Tupac’s voice and personality” in the song.

“Not only is the record a flagrant violation of Tupac’s publicity and the estate’s legal rights, it is also a blatant abuse of the legacy of one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time,” his statement added. “The Estate would never have given its approval for this use.”

Crow has long been outspoken against the use of AI in music. She said earlier this year during a visit to “The Tonight Show” that it’s “so disturbing to me” what AI technology can do.

“I did a session the other day and this young songwriter had this incredible song, but she needed a guy to sing on it so that she could pitch it to male singers in Nashville,” Crow explained at the time. “Paid $5, put in John Mayer’s name and she played it for me. There’s no way you could tell the difference and it just blew my mind. And it didn’t just sound like him, I mean, like his inflections.”

Crow said the experience left her feeling “really scared,” adding: “For me, art is like the soul; it’s attached to the soul,” she said. “So when you get into something that’s so much more advanced than our brains are at this point, it takes the soul out of it, you know, and it’s scary.”

Speaking more recently to the BBC, Crow rejoiced over AI’s inability to learn one thing about the music world: “AI can do lots of things, but it can’t go out and play live. So as long as we have live music, as long as we have hands holding a paintbrush, all is not lost.”

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