After being posted online, an AI-generated verse in the style of Kanye West has gone viral. The video, which was shared recently, demonstrates how AI can accurately replicate any musician’s voice and create musical content that sounds like it was recorded by the artists themselves.
The video was shared by AI expert Roberto Nickson, who used the computer programme to create an approximation of West’s voice and share an AI-created 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.— Roberto Nickson (@rpnickson) March 26, 2023
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
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 in response to West’s recent anti-Semitic remarks, as well as his former partnership with Adidas, which ended in 2022. At the time of writing, the video had over five million views and had been shared nearly 8,000 times on the platform.
In response to the verse, some fans took to Twitter to speculate on how AI might change 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”.
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 use of artificial intelligence in songwriting, saying “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 f**k off and leave songwriting alone.”
West has not yet responded to the AI-generated verse. The rapper made headlines last week after claiming that he “likes Jewish people again” after seeing 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.”