Tupac’s Estate Threatened To Sue Drake Over His Use Of The Late Rapper’s Voice In A Kendrick Lamar Diss


In an ironic twist, Drake has been issued a cease-and-desist letter by the estate of the late Tupac Shakur over using an AI-generated reproduction of the West Coast rap icon’s voice in a Kendrick Lamar diss track. According to Billboard, the estate sent the letter today demanding he pull the “Taylor Made Freestyle” from streaming services or face legal action.

The estate’s attorney Howard King wrote, “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.”

The irony comes from the fact that Drake himself seemed to frown on the use of AI to duplicate his own voice as recently as last year, when a fake song using his and The Weeknd’s digitally reproduced voices was taken down by Universal Music Group copyright strikes. He also personally shaded an AI-generated version of Ice Spice’s “Munch” that used his voice. Incidentally, Kendrick Lamar also cobbled together a conversation between himself and Tupac on his 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly, but in that instance, he had the estate’s permission to re-use audio from an interview, which demonstrates the whole point around publicity rights.