Tupac’s Estate Threatens to Sue Drake After He Uses AI to Recreate Voice

The estate of Tupac Shakur is considering suing Drake for his diss track “Taylor Made Freestyle,” which calls out Kendrick Lamar. In his second diss track against Kendrick Lamar, the 37-year-old feuding rapper used artificial intelligence to mimic the late artist’s voice. After attorney Howard King sent a cease-and-desist letter, Drake was asked to remove the song from all streaming services.

His estate said it tarnished Tupac’s legacy.

Drake was given a 24-hour deadline to cease streaming the track or face legal consequences. The term “blatant abuse” of one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time was used to describe the employment of artificial intelligence. 

The ghost of Tupac would never have gotten the estate’s OK, according to the letter.

Drake may have earned royalties if he had released the song on social media instead of streaming platforms. Despite this, the legal document mentioned that the song was still getting much attention and plays. A good friend of the Estate, Kendrick Lamar, who has publicly and privately shown reverence for Tupac and his legacy, was also a song critic.

King wants Drake to reveal who made the sound-alike and how it was made, including who “scraped” or exploited any recordings or other data. In addition, the letter brought to light the possibility that the song in question infringed on publicity rights rules, which provide for the preservation of individuals’ likenesses. While regulations do exist to prevent the unauthorized exploitation of likenesses, they do not address artificial intelligence (AI) specifically.

There is currently no clear legislation regarding using artificial intelligence to replicate the voices of famous people. Since AI-generated voices usually don’t employ particular lyrics or music from the original artist, federal copyrights don’t seem to address the problem. Mr. King, representing Shakur’s estate, thinks they violate the publicity rights statutes already in place in California.

Tennessee approved the ELVIS (“Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security”) Act to prevent the creation of illegal artificial intelligence voice clones. 

The “first-of-its-kind legislation” criminalizes the Class A misdemeanor of reproducing a musician’s voice without authorization. Nonetheless, Tennessee is not home to any of the feuding parties. Things are progressing at a snail’s pace on the federal level, creating legal ambiguity.