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Tupac Shakur’s estate threatens legal action against Drake over diss track using AI-generated vocals

Tupac Shakur’s estate have threatened to sue Drake over the use of AI-generated vocals to replicate the late rapper’s voice on his diss track.

According to a cease-and-desist letter (per Billboard), the ‘Headlines’ rapper was told by litigator Howard King that his track ‘Taylor Made Freestyle‘ must to be taken down in less than 24 hours. If not, Tupac’s estate would go ahead and  “pursue all of its legal remedies” against him.

The letter – penned by King – read: “The Estate is deeply dismayed and disappointed by your unauthorized use of Tupac’s voice and personality. 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.”

Tupac Shakur attends 10th Annual Soul Train Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on March 29, 1996. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

It continued, taking issue with the rappers use of Tupac’s vocals to diss Kendrick Lamar: “The unauthorized, equally dismaying use of Tupac’s voice against Kendrick Lamar, a good friend to the Estate who has given nothing but respect to Tupac and his legacy publicly and privately, compounds the insult.”

‘Taylor Made Freestyle’ was the latest in a string of shots back and forth between Drake and Lamar.

The first verse on the track has been manipulated to sound like 2Pac, with lines including: “Kendrick, we need ya, the West Coast savior / Engraving your name in some hip-hop history / Fuck this Canadian light-skin, Dot / We need a no-debated West Coast victory, man”.

The issue between the two artists began on the 2023 single ‘First Person Shooter’, when Drake compared himself to Michael Jackson, after tying him for the most Number One singles on the Billboard charts.

In response last month, Lamar took jabs at Drake on ‘Like That’, a track from Metro Boomin and Future’s joint project ‘We Don’t Trust You’, by likening himself to Prince – Jackson’s longtime rival. “Prince outlived Mike Jack’ / N****, bum, ‘fore all your dogs gettin’ buried / That’s a K with all these nines, he gon’ see Pet Sematary,” he rapped.

Drake performs onstage during “Lil Baby & Friends Birthday Celebration Concert” at State Farm Arena on December 9, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

On April 13, Drake seemingly replied on the diss track, ‘Push Ups (Drop And Give Me 50)’. “This the bark with the bite, nigga, what’s up? / How the fuck you been steppin’ with a size seven mens on?” he rapped, alluding to Lamar’s fifth studio album ‘Mr Morale & The Big Steppers’. The Californian has yet to drop a rebuttal to ‘Push Ups’.

Fans thought Lamar had responded to Drake when a song called ‘One Shot’ leaked online. The track turned out to be fake, though, as TikTok rapper-producer SyTheRapper revealed he created it using AI. “I shocked myself,” he said. “I thought people were going to be able to tell it was fake, but people did actually think it was real.”

However, Rick Ross legitimately replied to ‘Push Ups’ with the equally venomous ‘Champagne Moments’. On the song, he accused Drake of getting a nose job and sending a cease-and-desist to French Montana. The latter was later confirmed by their label owner, Gamma CEO Larry Jackson.

In other news, the bail for Tupac Shakur‘s murder suspect was set at $750,000 (£590,000) after being charged for the late rapper’s murder earlier this year.

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