AI-Generated Drake and the Weeknd Collaboration Goes Viral

Mom, can you come pick me up? I'm scared

Photo: The Weeknd by Brian Ziff (right)

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Apr 17, 2023

Earlier this month, Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk revealed that the iconic duo's 2021 breakup was essentially caused by technology getting scary. If you don't find this a relatable sentiment, look no further than the AI-generated collaborative song by "Drake" and "the Weeknd" that has gone viral over the past few days.

UPDATE (4/18, 11:32 a.m. ET): The song has been removed from streaming services as well as YouTube due to a copyright claim by Universal Music Group (UMG). A spokesperson told Billboard that viral emulations created by AI "demonstrate why platforms have a fundamental legal and ethical responsibility to prevent the use of their services in ways that harm artists." UMG declined to clarify whether they sent formal takedown requests, adding:

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. We're encouraged by the engagement of our platform partners on these issues — as they recognize they need to be part of the solution.

A TikTok and YouTube user by the name of ghostwriter appears to be the source of the track, which is appropriately titled "heart on my sleeve" (the algorithm got Drake there!).

"This is just the beginning," the uploader wrote in a pinned YouTube comment over the weekend. Meanwhile, on TikTok, ghostwriter claimed that they were, in fact, a ghostwriter for many years, getting paid "next to nothing" for the profit of major labels.

Since not everyone agrees with Nick Cave about AI fucking off and leaving songwriting alone, "heart on my sleeve" has drawn mixed reactions. Some fans are impressed by how accurate the technology's emulation of both of the artists' styles is and seem to think the song — complete with lyrics referring to Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber — is a bit of a bop, despite the fact that its eerie minor key plinks and muffled drum machines sound like a rough demo at best.

Many others are understandably concerned about the way AI is being used here. And you could safely assume Drake himself would be among them, since he shared a post about an AI rendition of Ice Spice's "Munch" stylized after his voice. "This is the last straw AI," the rapper wrote in an Instagram Story post last week [via Complex].

Everything seemed much more lighthearted and fun even a few months ago during the since-terminated existence of that hilarious AI Drake lyric generator. If you're reading this, it's too late.

Listen to the track below.

Latest Coverage