Ice Cube is the latest mainstream artist to chime in on the recent artificial intelligence debate in music. During a May 18 interview with Kyle Foregard and Aaron Steinberg of the Full Send Podcast, Cube insisted he had no tolerance for the recent use of A.I. technology to mimic the voices of popular musicians.
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Before specifically mentioning the AI topic though, Cube touched on how Auto-Tune has negatively impacted music, depriving hip-hop of authenticity.
“People don’t want a computerized rapper no more, they want to hear your voice,” he said around the 48-minute mark. “I don’t know any rappers by their voice no more. I used to know all the rappers, hear their voice, and know who they are. They need to figure out how to put that Auto-Tune down and we need to hear what people sound like and if they’re as good.”
Then, Cube used this talking point to transition into his disdain for AI and its effects.
“I think AI is demonic [and] I think AI is going to get a backlash from real, organic people,” he said. “So I think artists need to go back to using their real voice and making sure people know this is authentic, and not made from a computer.”
Next, Foregard asked Cube if he had heard “Heart on My Sleeve,” the viral AI-generated collaboration between Drake and The Weeknd from earlier this year.
“Nope. I don’t wanna hear an AI Drake song,” he said. “I don’t wanna hear that bullshit. He should sue whoever made it.”
In response to this, Steinberg warned Cube that he might be the next target of an AI-generated song using his voice.
“And I’mma sue the motherfucka who make it too, and the people and the platform that play it,” Cube insisted. “It’s like a sample, you know what I mean? Somebody can’t take your original voice and manipulate it without having to pay. … To me it’s like sampling. If I don’t pay for it, it is stealing. No matter how much I manipulate it in the computer and change the notes, if they recognize it and it’s a sample, they can come after me.”
Cube’s interview with Full Send arrived just days after fellow iconic hip-hop figure Timbaland provided a different stance on AI. Hoping to commercialize the technology to benefit artists, Timba announced a start-up that will provide easier access to an AI voice filter for musicians.
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