The use of AI in the music industry has already raised concerns but for producers and songwriters, it’s become an incredible tool for their craft. Timbaland, for example, never had the opportunity to work with the late Biggie Smalls. However, with the help of AI, he created a dream collaboration with the late Brooklyn artist. “We know that it’s a lot of talk about AI and we know how the feelings of violating certain things,” he said. “But let me tell you something: I got a solution, I’m working on it. It’s gon’ be beneficial to everybody.”
“I gotta share something I’ve been working on because I always wanted to do this and I never got a chance to. I always wanted to work with Big and I never got a chance to,” he added before playing the record. Timbaland pairs AI Biggie with his signature futuristic style of production as the late rapper’s voice shouts out Young Dolph, Nipsey Hussle, and Pop Smoke. Although it’s a cool experiment, it still raises red flags surrounding how AI can easily replicate an artist’s voice without their consent or approval.
Timbaland & AI Biggie Collab
The comment section of Timbaland’s post was met with mixed reception. Some people, like Offset, called the AI collab “hard” but there were still plenty of others who felt a type of way. A few people went as far as calling it disrespectful. Still, Timbaland appeared to be excited about what he created. “This rite here @creatrgod @youngguru763 I had too,” he wrote, tagging Jay-Z’s engineer who has been strongly against the use of AI to replicate artist’s voices.
At this point, it’s unclear what Timbaland’s solution for AI but it seems like something the music industry might need now more than ever. In the past month, Universal Music Group took action against the rise of AI songs, specifically those using the voices of artists like Drake and The Weeknd. Drake has grown frustrated with the technology after they used his voice to cover Ice Spice’s “Munch.” However, UMG called on Spotify and other streaming companies to take action and block AI-generated songs. Check out Timbaland’s post above.