Tupac Shakur’s estate threatens to sue Drake over alleged AI-generated voice in diss track

Dylan Horetski
tupac smiling into the camera

The estate of rapper Tupac Shakur is threatening to sue Drake after featuring what’s alleged to be an AI-generated Tupac voice in one of his latest songs.

Released on April 19, 2024, Drake’s “Taylor Made Freestyle” is a diss track against Kendrick Lamar which is alleged to feature an AI-generated version of Tupac’s voice.

Tupac’s estate was made aware of this shortly after release and sent Drake a cease-and-desist letter on April 23, 2024. In the letter, they tell the Canada-born rapper to take the song down within 24 hours or the estate would “pursue all of its legal remedies” against him.

Billboard acquired a copy of the C&D and shared several quotes from Howard King, the lawyer who drafted the letter.

“The Estate is deeply dismayed and disappointed by your unauthorized use of Tupac’s voice and personality,” he said. “Not only is the record a flagrant violation of Tupac’s publicity and the estate’s legal rights, it is also a blatant abuse of the legacy of one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time. The Estate would never have given its approval for this use.”

Since OpenAI’s ChatGPT was released in 2023, there’s been a surge in the number of AI applications, ranging from image generation to video generation, and even entirely AI-generated vocalists.

As Tupac is arguably one of the most famous names in rap, he was among the first to be replicated with the use of new technology. Back in August 2023, a YouTuber created a song using AI-generated voices of DMX and Tupac, which has since attained over a million views.

This is the first time Tupac’s voice has been generated in a song by such a high-profile artist, which prompted a response from the rapper’s estate. The outcome of these allegations could be the groundwork for how future cases are handled as AI continues to grow in popularity.

As of the time of writing, the song has been removed from Drake’s Spotify and YouTube Music pages.

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About The Author

Dylan is a Senior Writer for Dexerto with knowledge in keyboards, headsets, and live streaming hardware. Outside of tech, he knows the latest happenings around Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok. Contact Dylan at Dylan.Horetski@Dexerto.com