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Tupac Estate threatens Drake with lawsuit over AI vocals

todayApril 24, 2024

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Tupac Estate Threatens Drake with Lawsuit Over AI Vocals

The estate of the late rapper Tupac Shakur has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Drake, demanding the removal of his recent diss track “Taylor Made Freestyle.” The song, aimed at fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar, has drawn the ire of the Shakur estate, who claim it violates Tupac’s publicity rights and legacy, according to a report from Pitchfork.

Howard E. King, the entertainment lawyer representing the Tupac Shakur Estate, called the track “a flagrant violation of Tupac’s publicity and the Estate’s legal right” and “a blatant abuse of the legacy of one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time” in his letter to Drake. King emphasized that the estate would never have approved the use of Tupac’s voice, particularly in a diss track against Kendrick Lamar, whom he described as “a good friend to the Estate who has given nothing but respect to Tupac and his legacy publicly and privately.”

The estate has threatened to pursue all legal remedies if Drake fails to take down the controversial track. Drake posted “Taylor Made Freestyle” on his social media pages last week as part of an ongoing feud with Kendrick Lamar, which has escalated recently with both rappers taking shots at each other in their music.

While Snoop Dogg, whose AI-generated vocals also appear on the track, has not publicly expressed any intention to take legal action, he did post a video showing his confusion with the situation.

The use of AI-generated vocals in music has become a contentious issue, raising questions about the ethical and legal implications of using the voices and likenesses of artists, particularly those who are deceased, without proper authorization. As the music industry grapples with the rapid advancement of AI technology, cases like this are likely to set important precedents for the future of copyright and publicity rights in the digital age.


Written by: Tarik Moody

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