Lupe Fiasco recently announced his new venture with Google, an artificial intelligence tool designed to be used by rappers. The tool, dubbed TextFX, “specifically (focuses) on the writing process of creating raps.” It's a large language model that allows users to explore different ways to flip words, something that Lupe Fiasco himself does when he writes his lyrics. TextFX is available for use now.
"Rap is born out of technology," he explains in a video about the tool, "rap wouldn't exist if it wasn't for these technological advancements." The artist continues, describing different ways that technology has impacted rap. "What's next," he says, "artificial intelligence, large language models. Rap's optimal for it." Aaron Wade, a Creative Technologist at Google, then describes working with Lupe Fiasco to come up with TextFX. "Initially, we thought that maybe Lupe would want an A.I. system to write lyrics for him, verses and raps. But it turns out that he didn't want that at all. What he wanted was a tool that helped him explore the universe of possibilities that can arise from any given word, or phrase, or concept."
Lupe Fiasco's New Songwriting Tool
In another video, Lupe Fiasco is seen "co-writing" a song using TextFX. He walks viewers through the songwriting process, revealing how the technology works. At the end of the video, he performs the song, titled "Glass Of Water." "Depending on what you want to get out of it, it is there for you to get it," he explains. "It does require you to do the work, it's not doing the work for you. It's just providing you with different opportunities, and work flow, and being efficient, and you know, offloading certain things so your mind can focus on other things."
The artist continues to praise the tool, explaining how it took "Glass Of Water" to places he didn't expect. "I really never thought that it would go there," he says, "just from a small, tiny little twist."