Viral A.I.-Generated Drake and The Weeknd Song Submitted to Grammys
UPDATE (Sept. 8):
On Friday (Sept. 8), Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. hopped on Instagram and uploaded a video of himself stating that "Heart on My Sleeve," the A.I.-generated song featuring Drake and The Weeknd's fake vocals, isn't eligible for a Grammy. The reason behind this decision stems from the vocals not being legally obtained and unavailable commercially.
"I'm sorry but I have to clear up some of this bad and really inaccurate information that’s starting to float around," Harvey Mason Jr. said in the video below. "'Heart on My Sleeve' is not eligible for Grammy consideration. Let me be extra, extra clear: Even though it was written by a human creator, the vocals were not legally obtained, the vocals were not cleared by the label or the artists, and the song is not commercially available, and because of that. It’s not eligible."
ORIGINAL STORY (Sept. 6):
Drake and The Weeknd A.I. Song Submitted to Grammys
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said in an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday (Sept. 5) that the song, titled "Heart On My Sleeve," is "absolutely eligible" despite its falsified vocals, "because it was written by a human." The lyrics were in fact penned by an artist named Ghostwriter to have the fake Drake and The Weeknd's computer-generated voices come to life.
Now, Ghostwriter is aiming to take home one of music's most coveted awards, with a representative for the enigmatic creator confirming to the Times that "Heart On My Sleeve" was submitted for consideration for Best Rap Song and Song Of The Year at this year's forthcoming Grammy awards.
However, "Heart On My Sleeve" will still face an uphill battle. The Grammy rules state that songs must have “generation distribution,” meaning “the broad release of a recording, available nationwide via brick-and-mortar stores, third-party online retailers and/or streaming services.” Due to Universal Music reportedly sending takedown notices to the DSPs, Ghostwriter's song might not qualify.
"Ghostwriter’s representative said they were aware of the commercial availability requirement," the Times added.
XXL has reached out to the Grammys for comment.
"Heart On My Sleeve" Caused A Stir When It Dropped Earlier This Year
"Heart On My Sleeve" first appeared on YouTube on April 14. The song included artificial vocals of both the 6 God and XO leader together, and was then shared on multiple streaming services including Apple, Tidal, Deezer and Spotify. The track reportedly racked up over 630,000 listens on the latter before it was subsequently taken down by Universal Music Group, where both Drizzy and The Weeknd are currently signed.
Following UMG's reported removal of the song, the label commented on the A.I. track in a lengthy statement sent to Music Week, commenting on the rise of "deep fakes" and asking which "side of history" its stakeholders wanted to be on.
"UMG’s success has been, in part, due to embracing new technology and putting it to work for our artists — as we have been doing with our own innovation around AI for some time already," the statement began. "With that said, however, 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: the side of artists, fans and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud and denying artists their due compensation."
The statement continued, "These instances demonstrate why platforms have a fundamental legal and ethical responsibility to prevent the use of their services in ways that harm artists. We’re encouraged by the engagement of our platform partners on these issues–as they recognize they need to be part of the solution."
Whether Drake or The Weeknd have heard the track is unclear, but Drizzy has already expressed his disdain for A.I. after an AI-augmented Drake covered Ice Spice’s “Munch (Feelin’ U)” back in April, which the real Drizzy called "the final straw" on Instagram.