FN Meka virtual rapper accused of racial stereotyping

Occurred: August 2022

The creators of self-described 'virtual rapper' FN Meka were accused of racial stereotyping black people by not using Black singers to record its voice, contrary to public statements. 

FN Meka was iitially designed by digital designer Brandon Le and music manager Anthony Martini, co-founders of 'next-generation music company' Factory New, to sell NFTs and post videos of its lifestyle, including Bugatti jets, helicopters and a Rolls Royce custom-fit with a Hibachi grill.

The rapper made its debut in April 2019 and quickly became popular, garnering over a billion views on TikTok. Signed to Capitol Records in August 2022, FN Meka was the first 'AI-generated' rapper to be signed to a major label. 

Meka was dropped by Capitol Records ten days later its signing. US rapper Kyle the Hooligan subsequently claimed that he was the original voice of FN Meka, and announced that he intended to sue Brandon Le and Factory New.

Factory New stood accused of fabricating the origin of FN Meka's voice and, given the White and Asian backgrounds of its makers, of racial appropriation, hypocrisy and fakeness.

Operator: Factory New; Capitol Music Group/Capitol Records
Developer: Factory New

Country: USA

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Entertain; Sell NFTs 

Technology: Augmented Reality (AR); Virtual reality (VR); NFT
Issue: Bias/discrimination - race, ethnicity; Hypocrisy

Transparency: Governance; Marketing

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Page info
Type: Incident
Published: December 2022