May 24th, 2024

Estate of Tupac Shakur sends cease-and-desist letter to Drake over AI vocals

By The Canadian Press on April 25, 2024.

A lawyer representing the estate of Tupac Shakur have sent a cease and desist letter to Drake after he used an AI-generated likeness of the late rapper's voice in a diss track. Drake leaves the court after the first half of NBA basketball action between Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets in Toronto, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

A lawyer representing the estate of Tupac Shakur has sent a cease and desist letter to Drake after he used an AI-generated likeness of the late rapper’s voice in a diss track.

Howard King says in the letter that “Taylor Made Freestyle” is a “flagrant violation of Tupac’s publicity and the estate’s legal rights,” and if Drake fails to remove the track from the platforms where it’s available, the estate will consider suing.

Drake, born Aubrey Graham, dropped the track last week as part of an ongoing spat with rapper Kendrick Lamar, who last month suggested that the Toronto rapper isn’t on his level.

King calls Drake’s use of a facsimile of Shakur’s voice “a blatant abuse of the legacy of one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time,” in part because Drake used it to diss Lamar, “who has given nothing but respect to Tupac and his legacy.”

King claims in the letter that Drake “used the same California laws that you knowingly violated with your AI sound-alike” to challenge a business’s website that used an image of Drake without his consent.

King claims the use of Drake’s image in that case was “much less publicized and far more benign.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2024.

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