Thomas MacaulaySenior reporter
Thomas is a senior reporter at TNW. He covers European tech, with a focus on deeptech, startups, and government policy. Thomas is a senior reporter at TNW. He covers European tech, with a focus on deeptech, startups, and government policy.
Eminem has an illustrious history of rap battles, but his controversial insults can infuriate sensitive listeners.
In recent weeks, a TikTok campaign called for Em to be “canceled” for glorifying violence against women in his single “Love the Way You Lie.”
Inevitably, Marshall Mathers fired back with a diss track taking aim at his critics. But he could surely find some more deserving adversaries than TikTok teens.
A new AI music video gives the rapper a more progressive target for his ire: the patriarchy.
The track was created by Calamity Ai, the same group who used bots to produce a new song for Hamilton and a previous Eminem diss of Mark Zuckerberg.
The team penned their latest lyrics using ShortlyAI, a text-generator powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3.
They prompted the system to spit out a verse based on the following cue:
Eminem’s new song is a diss against the patriarchy. He is taking a stand to males and sticking up for women. Verse #1:
They then sent the lyrics to 30HZ, a self-professed creator of “synthetic parody songs and other poorly written material.” The producer synthesized the audio and converted the words into vocals.
And just in case Slim Shady needed back-up, the team generated a guest verse by another unlikely defender of women’s rights: Kanye West.
I’m pretty impressed by Em’s synthetic voice, although the lyrics are hit and miss at best.
He reserves most of his vitriol for producer Rick Rubin, a surprising choice given the litany of musicians accused of sexual abuse.
Still, Em comes across as refreshingly contrite when he discusses “the consequences when I spit poetry,” which he says are worth the risk if he “silences some men.”
Kanye West’s artificial voice is less convincing, and his verse isn’t going to get any lyrical awards. He does offer an apology to Taylor West, but begins it with a typically sexist, “Yeah, bitch.”
The track will hardly shake up the patriarchy, although the lyrics are still sharper than, say, Lil Pump’s.
But could the AI Eminem win a rap battle against its human counterpart? I doubt it, but the showdown could help make Marshall relevant again.
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