Sunday, June 26, 2022

Kendrick Lamar’s latest music video features deepfakes of Will Smith and Kanye

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Kendrick Lamar wants to show that deepfakes are useful for more than misinformation and scary porn. The rapper has shared a music video for his single “The Heart Part 5” which revolves solely around deepfake celebrity faces being placed on Kendrick’s body as he spits up bars. The clip transitions seamlessly between AI-based faces of famous and sometimes infamous figures in recent black culture, including Kanye West, OJ Simpson, Will Smith, and the late icons like Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle.

Deep Voodoo, a studio formed by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, was responsible for the deepfake images. The video was directed by Kendrick and Dave Free.

As with the lyrics themselves, the overlapping faces serve as commentary on the Black experience. They represent different aspects of a common voice and appear alongside key verses (such as Kanye for bipolar disorder and Nipsey for murder). In that sense, Kendrick’s video is a reminder that deepfake technology is just a tool and can be useful for artistic expression in the right hands.

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