‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem’ Actor Ice Cube Decries Using AI To Make Music: “That’s Evil And Demonic To Me”

Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) assigns Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) a new mission in 21 Jump Street (2012), Columbia Pictures

Whether we want it or not, AI is going to be a game changer for humanity in the coming years. However, not everyone is excited about this seemingly impending future.

Ice Cube live in Metro City Concert Club Photo Credit: Stuart Sevastos, via Wikimedia Commons

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Trillion dollar multinational corporations like Google are fast forwarding the development of AI, without a care in the world about the ramifications on humanity. This reality isn’t sitting too well with people like rapper and actor Ice Cube — someone who isn’t ready to play ball with this new technology.

Over the last few weeks, Ice Cube has made it clear that he is not on board with the direction the world is headed regarding AI technology’s rapid development and how it will likely affect the music industry as a whole.

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The discussion began when a AI song featuring the voices of Drake and The Weeknd went viral on TikTok, raising both legal and ethical concerns. When made aware of the issue, Ice Cube pleaded with the artists to sue the creator.

“The artists are getting lost in auto-tunes, and now that you have an AI computer,” the rapper weighed in during a recent appearance on the Full Send Podcast. “I think people don’t want a computerized rapper no more.”

He went on, “They want to hear your voice. I don’t know any rappers by their voice no more. I used to know all the rappers just on hear their voice. Know who that is.”

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Ice Cube was asked about what he doesn’t like about the music industry in 2023 and he didn’t hold back on what he believes the enemy to be, AI.

“So, I think they need to figure out how to put that auto-tune down, and we need to hear what people sound like and if they’re as good,” he noted. “Because I think AI is demonic. I think AI is gonna get a backlash from real people — real, organic people.”

Ice Cube then encouraged, “So, I think artists need to go back to using their real voice and making sure people know this is authentic and not made from a computer,” before he touched on the situation involving Drake and The Weeknd.

Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) reprimands Schmidt (Jonah Hill) for praying to Korean Jesus in 21 Jump Street (2012), Columbia Pictures

“I don’t wanna to hear an AI Drake song,” he said. “He should sue whoever made it. Somebody can’t take your original voice and manipulate it without having to pay.”

“To me it’s like sampling, and you know if I steal somebody’s baseline, or sample, I ain’t going to say steal, but if I don’t pay for it that is stealing, if I sample somebody’s baseline, they can come after me,” the musician pointed out.

He added, “No matter how much I manipulate it in the computer, change the notes and whatever, if they recognize it and it’s a sample, they can come after me, so that’s what the artists should do.”

Ron Strickland (Ice Cube) stops Andrew Campbell (Charlie Day) in his tracks in Fist Fight (2017), New Line Cinema

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While Cube’s objection to AI is clear, his comments against its use was called out as a hypocritical by a social media user due to his past use of samples.

Sampling in hip hop has allowed rappers to take music from past artists and craft them for a modern sound. Maybe artists from the 1990s took 1970s funk and soul music and used it as the base for popular rap songs.

Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) goes over the basics of undercover operations in 21 Jump Street (2012), Columbia Pictures

Cube would take to social media to elaborate on his comments, pointing out that it is totally different taking a dead artist and making a new song they never even approved.

“Samples are approved or denied by the song owners. Totally different than taking a dead artist and making a new song they never approved and saying things they may not agree with. That’s evil and demonic to me,” Ice Cube explained.

Ice Cube weighs in on AI via Twitter

The introduction of AI has many people fearing the ramification of what our society will look like in the next few years as AI is being crafted to steal jobs, reshape entertainment, and craft an entire generations thoughts on world events.

Earlier this year, Elon Musk sat down with Tucker Carlson and claimed that AI could cause the destruction of civilization if it is used for nefarious means.

“AI is more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance or bad car production, in the sense that it is, it has the potential — however small one may regard that probability, but it is non-trivial — it has the potential of civilization destruction,” Musk told Carlson, as transcribed by The Week.

Musk believes that AI is being trained to lie and that could have a massive effect on future elections as well as society’s idea of “The truth.”

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What are your thoughts on Ice Cube’s concerns about AI generated music?

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