Capitol Records has dropped an artificial intelligence rapper and apologized to the Black community for insensitivity after activism groups raised concerns that the project reflected stereotypes, according to published reports.
“CMG has severed ties with the FN Meka project, effective immediately,” Capitol Music Group said in a statement emailed to TheWrap. “We offer our deepest apologies to the Black community for our insensitivity in signing this project without asking enough questions about equity and the creative process behind it.”
The news comes just hours after activist group Industry Blackout, which represents a unified body of Black industry members, called out Capitol Records on social media for partnering with the AI known as FN Meka, noting that the project “amalgamation of gross stereotypes [and] appropriative mannerisms that derive from Black artists, complete with slurs infused in lyrics.”
Industry Blackout also described the partnership as a “direct insult to the Black community and our culture” that is “unacceptable” and “will not be tolerated.”
Created by Anthony Martini and Brandon Le, FN Meka’s partnership with Capitol Records represented the studio’s first major deal with a virtual artist. FN Meka released the single “Florida Water,” which featured Gunna and gaming streamer Clix.
The group demanded that the partnership be terminated, a public apology be issued and that FN Meka be removed from all platforms.
Capitol Music Group also addressed the “constructive feedback” in their statement, saying “We thank those who have reached out to us with constructive feedback in the past couple of days — your input was invaluable as we came to the decision to end our association with the project.”
Following the announcement, Industry Blackout tweeted “We did it, Joe!”