Scammer Makes Thousands Selling ‘Leaked’ Frank Ocean Tracks Made Using AI
We might be nearing the “I Am Legend” era of artificial intelligence after one scammer raked in thousands selling fake AI-generated Frank Ocean tracks.
Fans are speaking out after realizing they paid for leaked Frank Ocean songs that were actually made using AI, Vice reports. The culprit sold the fake Ocean tracks to a Discord community of underground music collectors willing to buy tracks they believe are leaks from their favorite artists.
The die-hard fan clubs will even participate in “group buys” on Discord to crowdsource the necessary funds to purchase the song. This is where the alleged scammer saw their opportunity with the Frank Ocean fans desperate for new and unreleased music from the “Novacane” singer.
Gamma, the owner of a Discord server that collects rare Frank Ocean songs, sent a server-wide announcement earlier this month letting group members know the leaked tracks were “fake.”
“We determined just about everything he has is fake,” Gamma wrote.
The scam is the latest development in AI’s major impact on the music industry. Last week, award-winning producer Timbaland came under fire after teasing a Notorious B.I.G. feature he made using AI.
“I gotta share something I’ve been working on because I always wanted to do this, and I never got a chance to,” Timbaland said in an Instagram video. “I always wanted to work with Big, and I never got a chance to — until today. It came out right! Play!”
Timbaland went on to play a song that featured a voice similar to the late rap legend but a bit distorted. The “Promiscuous” hitmaker played the snippet after telling fans he was coming up with a “solution” to combat AI’s possible takeover of the music industry.
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“Alright, so, I’m sitting here with my brother, Creatr God, and we know that it’s a lot of talk about AI, and we know how the feelings of violating certain things,” Timbaland explained. “But let me tell you something: I got a solution, I’m working on it. It’s gon’ be beneficial to everybody.”
There remains a growing concern over the huge threat AI-generated music could be to artists and record labels with its ability to copy the voice and style of anyone, including superstars. Last month major labels like Universal Music Group started asking streaming platforms to ban the upload of AI-generated music, Variety reports.
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