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Andy Baio, writing at Waxy:
Over the weekend, for the first time, the anonymous creator of Vocal Synthesis received a copyright claim on YouTube, taking two of his videos offline with deepfaked audio of Jay-Z reciting the “To Be or Not To Be” soliloquy from Hamlet and Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”
According to the creator, the copyright claims were filed by Roc Nation LLC with an unusual reason for removal: “This content unlawfully uses an AI to impersonate our client’s voice.”
Jay Z, writing for The New York Times:
On the surface, this may look like the story of yet another criminal rapper who didn’t smarten up and is back where he started. But consider this: Meek was around 19 when he was convicted on charges relating to drug and gun possession, and he served an eight-month sentence. Now he’s 30, so he has been on probation for basically his entire adult life. For about a decade, he’s been stalked by a system that considers the slightest infraction a justification for locking him back inside.
According to Nielsen Music, in the week ending July 13, the set earned 262,000 equivalent album units — a larger-than-initially-expected sum, and the fourth-largest week of 2017 for any album. Of its total, 174,000 units were in traditional album sales.
4:44’s No. 1 arrival extends JAY-Z’s record as the solo artist with the most No. 1 albums in the 61-year history of the Billboard 200 chart. He distances himself farther ahead of the two acts with the second-most leaders among soloists: Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand, who each have 11 chart-toppers. Among all acts, JAY-Z has the second-most leaders, behind only The Beatles, which have 19 No. 1s.
He went home, wakes up at 4:44 [a.m.] and calls Guru over [to record]. I was blown away. I just walked out of the studio and wanted to go find my wife and hug her. I told him that’s the best song he’s ever written. Everything it covers about being a man, being in a relationship, being a father, how you affect your kids. These things don’t really get touched on in music, especially in hip-hop.
Musical titans Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Lamm, James Pankow & Peter Cetera, p/k/a “Chicago,” Max Martin, and Shawn “JAY Z” Carter will become the latest inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner. Berry Gordy, who deferred his induction in 2016, will also be part of the 2017 class.