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  • Writer's pictureJamal Saafir

A.I. Debate Is Bound To Heat Up As Grammy Eligibility Is Granted To A.I. Generated Song

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

As we all know, artificial intelligence is making waves in multiple industries from movies to manufacturing and from art to music. It seems no industry is off limits, as AI is making its mark and leaving no stone unturned. Despite efforts to reward or recognize human beings for their contributions to music and entertainment, it's only fair to recognize those who create or generate images and sounds that gain mass appeal and public approval. With that being said, it appears that artificial intelligence has created or generated music that falls under the description of publicly approved and worthy of recognition.

According to a report from The Root, due to a new revelation from the Recording Academy CEO, Harvey Mason Jr., AI music has been given new life.

Harvey Mason Jr.

On Tuesday during an interview with the New York Times, Harvey Mason Jr. shared that the AI-generated track, “Heart on My Sleeve,” which mimicked the voices of Drake and The Weeknd, was recently submitted for Best Rap Song and Song of Year at the 2024 Grammys and that it will be “absolutely eligible because it was written by a human.”

Though inflammatory to artists in the initial statement, Mason later added that the Recording Academy would have to look into if the song was commercially available, since the Academy stipulates that a song must have a broad release and be offered through streaming services, online retailers, stores, etc.

Based on Mason’s reply, the Academy values music more as a commodity than as a way for artists to express themselves. It’s why whenever music fans look at the nominations, it’s considerably a reflection of the most popular music of the year and less about what was considered the “best.” The two are sometimes related, but more often than not, they are mutually exclusive.

In the situation of “Heart on My Sleeve,” the track started trending on social media and was being shared and promoted as a song that copied the voices of Drake and The Weeknd.

It swipes the likeness of two of the most popular and successful artists in the world. But just because it was written by a “human”, it now carries the right to be one of many songs up for nomination.

Its nomination is highly doubted, but the weight behind Mason’s words speaks to a bigger issue behind the Academy and why it has not been the standard that artists respect or hold themselves to for quite some time. The Recording Academy suggests that the focus of these awards is the art and musicality of the songs, but until they prove it with their actions and words, fans will be less inclined to believe them.

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