Did you miss that new viral collaboration between Drake and The Weeknd? Don’t feel bad… because it doesn’t exist. The latest beef in the pop/hip hop music world isn’t between musicians at all, but rather between musicians collectively and a pernicious new threat from AI. Over the last few days, an AI-generated track designed to be a soundalike for a nonexistent song featuring Drake and The Weeknd has been racking up listens, while also facing mounting criticism from artists and music industry insiders.
The song, which quickly spread across social media this weekend, is entitled “Heart on My Sleeve,” and according to a piece in Complex, seems to have been originally posted by a TikTok and YouTube user by the name of Ghostwriter.
The intent of the posting seems to be rather calculated, with a pinned YouTube comment by the original uploader offering this warning: “This is just the beginning.”
In addition, a TikTok comment by the uploader says they worked as “a ghostwriter for years and got paid close to nothing just for major labels to profit.” Whether the Ghostwriter in question is disgruntled about the low pay, or possibility of being replaced by AI (or both?), is unclear.
Regardless, the track garnered a slew of online opinions, both in regard to the song itself, as well as the bigger issue at play. Listeners drew much attention to the AI track’s lyrics, specifically the ones mentioning Selena Gomez’s former relationships with Justin Bieber and The Weeknd.
Drake has already recently weighed in on his dislike for his likeness being used in an AI-generated track. In response to a recent AI soundalike for his voice rapping Ice Spice’s “Munch” song, Drake wrote in an Instagram Stories update last week that “This is the final straw AI.”
One thing is clear, in a fractured music industry, this is an issue that seems to be uniting all artists trying to protect their rights and integrity.