Culture Hack

Heart Is On My Sleeve: AI and the Next Frontier of Content Creation

AI-generated music just passed its uncanny valley last week, in the form of Heart On My Sleeve: a fake “collaboration” between Drake and the Weekend that has been viewed more than 8.5 million times on TikTok, and played more than 625,000 times on Spotify before recently being taken down.

From creative writing to interior design, 2023 is the year where AI across all media, is beginning to seep into our cultural consciousness. And there are plenty of AI generators for music where you can have a go too, but the social media reception of the collaboration is somewhat new in the world of music.  

It would be presumptuous to dismiss its virality as sheer novelty value, or even a satire of the state of modern hip-hop’s minimalist production standards. Heart On My Sleeve may signal a shift in our relationship between art and artist. Should we even care if something isn’t original if it’s enjoyable?

For younger generations accustomed to entertainment as rented (streaming), content as collaborative (Tik Tok), and brand engagement as relationships (Twitter); concepts of ownership and authenticity may increasingly ring hollow. Access and participation may be more important when exclusivity and permanent ownership can feel increasingly irrelevant and out of reach. Rather than seeing AI-generated collabs as the enemy, maybe we can see them as an expression of brand love. Fan art. Extensions of content or experiences that enable audiences to engage with artists/brands in a deeper, collaborative way. AI-generation may be the new ‘sincerest form of flattery’.

How brands and entertainment companies navigate the challenges in IP that come with this will be an urgent priority. And for creators, the pressure to beat the algorithm can hopefully be for good, driving originality and creation beyond convention. Wearing their “heart on their sleeve”, as it were.

-Ed Hunt