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News that David Guetta’s latest track features Eminem may not raise an eyebrow: the latest in a long line of big-name collaborations, right? Erm…

“Eminem, bro! There’s something that I made as a joke, and it worked so good I could not believe it,” explained Guetta in a video posted to Twitter.

“I discovered those websites about AI. Basically you can write lyrics in the style of any artist you like. So I typed ‘write a verse in the style of Eminem about future rave’. And I went to another AI website that can recreate the voice. I put the text in that, and I played the record and people went nuts!”

Which rather begs the question: will Eminem (not to mention his lawyers) go nuts in a different way, even with Guetta’s follow-up tweet saying “obviously I won’t release this commercially”. He’s just played the track to an arena full of fans after all.

Whether knowingly or unwittingly, Guetta has highlighted some of the most pressing and heated issues around creative AI technology: voice likeness rights (remember Jay-Z filing takedowns against his deepfakes?);  copyright (was the AI Guetta used trained on Eminem’s copyrighted lyrics?); and the pure politeness of asking permission.

Now look, David Guetta and Eminem may be great chums, so the ‘ho ho I did this thing and you’re only finding out about it now’ video may be just project-launch banter. Perhaps Eminem did give permission, and if not perhaps he’s fine with the idea.

(If so, perhaps the real Eminem could battle the AI Eminem on an official version of the track. And if not, perhaps Eminem could find another AI to make a stadium house backing track in the style of David Guetta to rap over, tit-for-tat style. For the purposes of The Narrative, either is fine by us…)

Still, even if Eminem is fine with Future Rave, the track does clearly illustrate the possibility for consent-less collaborations in music. And that’s a real can of worms for the industry.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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