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Timbaland Defends New Song Featuring A.I. ‘Collaboration’ With Notorious B.I.G.

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Last week, legendary producer Timbaland previewed his new song, which features the vocals Notorious B.I.G., courtesy of A.I. technology.

“Alright so, I’m sitting here with my brother, Creatr God, and we know that it’s a lot of talk about A.I. and we know how the feelings of violating certain things,” says Timbaland in a clip previewing the song. “But let me tell you something: I got a solution, I’m working on it. It’s gon’ be beneficial to everybody.”

He continued, “But, in the meantime, 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 — until today. It came out right! Play!”

The snippet caused debate online. While some praised Timbaland’s ingenuity, others believe the vocals of late artists’ should be left alone.

“Sonically, it sounds cool but it lacks soul. There’s no spirit to it,” Charlamagne said on The Breakfast Club after hearing the preview. “There’s just nothing to it. That’s why I don’t like that. I just feel like there’s no spirit to this music. Even when they do it with artists who are still with us, it don’t feel like there’s no spirit to it. There’s no soul to it so it definitely sounds spiritless when it’s people who are no longer with us.”

Earlier this year, DJ Young Guru voiced his concerns over using A.I. technology in music.

“This has dominated my Howard group chat for a couple days,” said Guru. “I’m at the point where I can voice my concerns with our current state of AI. I have followed as many versions of what AI could do for some years now. I remember being at MIT and students showing me a project where they were actively feeding a computer ‘All’ the jazz records that ever existed. So that AI could analyze and create music in any style of any musician. I didn’t think we would get here this fast with the voice.”

Last month, Universal Music Group pulled A.I. generated Drake and The Weeknd collaboration from streaming services.

“The training of generative AI using our artists’ music (which represents both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law) as well as the availability of infringing content created with generative AI on DSPs, begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on,” UMG said in a statement. “The side of artists, fans and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud and denying artists their due compensation.

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