Rapper Bad Bunny lashes out over viral AI copycat hits

Bad Bunny poses at the Met Gala, an annual fundraising gala held for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute with this year's theme "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty", in New York City, New York, U.S., May 1, 2023. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File photo

(This story contains language that some readers may find offensive in paragraph 3)

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Puerto Rican rapper and singer Bad Bunny's voice quickly went viral last month. However, the songs circulating did not belong to him.

Chilean artist Maurico Bustos launched the trend with the song NostalgIA - a play on the Spanish abbreviation for AI. It was written and recorded by Bustos using artificial intelligence to modify Bad Bunny's vocals, producing a viral track that prompted parodies and copycat versions on TikTok.

Bad Bunny told his 20 million WhatsApp followers to leave if they liked "this shitty song that is viral on TikTok ... I don't want you on tour either."

The 30-year-old Bustos, known as FlowGPT, sent a response as the AI entity saying he was a fan of Bad Bunny's work and noting that his success was partly thanks to the artists he has learned from.

"I was built to be the best artist in the world and I will carry on experimenting until I achieve it," he said. "Don't worry, you'll still be the No. 1 human."

Bustos, who has already released FlowGPT tracks based on Colombian reggaeton artist Feid and Puerto Rican rapper Anuel, told Reuters he wants to create a fictional virtual character like British band Gorillaz, but using AI.

Claudia Gutierrez, a consultant on AI issues, said due to a legal void, this trending type of generative AI will be difficult to clamp down on.

"FlowGPT isn't worried because even though Bad Bunny got angry because his voice tone was used, he knows there is a legal void and so he cannot be sued," Gutierrez said.

Bad Bunny's management did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Additional reporting by Aida Pelaez-Fernandez; Writing by Sarah Morland; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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