Capitol Records has dropped an artificial intelligence rapper and apologized to the black community for its insensitivity after activism groups raised concerns 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 to The Hollywood Reporter. “We sincerely apologize to the black community for our insensitivity to sign off on this project without asking enough questions about fairness 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 Capitol Records on social media for its partnership with the AI known as FN Meka, noting that the project “merges crude stereotypes [and] appropriation mannerisms that derive from black performers, complete with slurs infused into the 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, that a public apology be issued and that FN Meka be removed from all platforms.
Capitol Music Group also addressed “constructive feedback” in its statement, saying, “We thank those who have reached out to us with constructive feedback over the past two days – your input has been invaluable as we have taken the decision to end our association with the project.”
Following the announcement, Industry Blackout tweeted “We did it, Joe!”
Capitol Music Group did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.