Frank Ocean A.I. Tracks Net Scammer Thousands In Sales

BYGabriel Bras Nevares6.6K Views
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Frank Ocean attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Most of those Frank leaks you've been bumping recently are apparently fake.

When your favorite artist won't drop a new album, your desperation to find leaks or unreleased tracks might lead you to a scam or two. Moreover, Vice recently reported that a scammer made thousands of dollars selling fake Frank Ocean tracks that were A.I.-generated. According to this report, such songs were sold on music communities in the underground, such as Discord groups, music forums, and similar platforms. This information also comes with testimonies from people in those circles, as well as direct interviews with the scammer and the scammed. "We determined just about everything he has is fake," the owner of a Frank leak-centered Discord server wrote to the community's members.

Of course, this is another point against the prevalence of artificial intelligence in music, and a clear example of its potentially nefarious uses. Despite that reality, it's one example in a sea of different uses of this type of technology. While this individual got thousands for fooling starving fans, other Frank Ocean die-hards make that distinction clear and just offer fans a cool hypothetical. Also, there's the more cheeky and unserious interpretations of this tech, such as Biggie dissing himself in an A.I. cover of "Hit 'Em Up."

Scammer Sells Fake Frank Ocean A.I. Songs, Makes Thousands

However, public favor surrounding Frank Ocean isn't exactly at an all-time high right now. His mixed reception to his appearance as a headliner at Coachella this year left many fans with a sour taste in their mouths. It also prompted figures like Joe Budden to label him as a "scammer" as well, using his history of scattered releases, teases, and expensive merch as context. Still, there's a lot we don't know about the situation, and a lot more nuance to these situations than audiences may expect. We'll see how the elusive superstar's next move diverts from that narrative, or contributes to it.

Meanwhile, many might wonder why you would even purchase leaks like these, and how a scam like this would come about in the first place. In communities like Discord servers, individuals purchase these tracks for private use or crowdsource the necessary funds for the files. Many in the community fear that A.I. threw a massive wrench into their focus. Time will tell how the industry at large weaponizes, or more importantly regulates, tech like this to minimize its potentially harmful effects. Regardless, stick around on HNHH for more news on A.I. music and the latest updates (however scant) on Frank Ocean.

About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.