Snoop Dogg has taken aim at streaming behemoths he feels are harming the music business and, in his opinion, the whole creative sector.
Earlier this month, at the Milken Institute Global Conference, the Gin and Juice rapper declared he was going “off script” and went into a diatribe against streaming services, which has since gone viral.
The outburst occurred in response to a question from Larry Jackson, previously the creative director for Apple Music, who talked about the hip hop genre experiencing a “exciting time” because to its success on streaming services.
“Streaming has got to get their s*** together,” Snoop—real name Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.—replied, emphasizing that strong streaming stats aren’t translating into large compensation for artists.
“I don’t know who’s running the streaming industry—if you’re here or not—but you need to give us some information on how to track this money down, because one plus one ain’t adding up to two,” says the founder of venture capital firm Casa Verde Capital, who is reportedly worth at least $200 million.
The recent coffee company creator stated the issue was the “main gripe” with musicians at the moment, amid laughs and shouts from the crowd, since earnings percentages had previously been negotiated with based on physical sales.
He adds that no similar agreements have been made in the field of streaming.
“It’s not being translated,” he admitted. “It’s not working out for the artist right now.”
The rapper goes on to say that artists must figure out streaming in the same manner that striking writers are refusing to return to their workplaces until wage arrangements with streaming platforms are reached—at which point Snoop Dogg seems to indicate to Jackson.
“I know I’m straying from the script now, but f*** it,” he continues. “This is business, and this is a room full of business people, and someone may hear this and be able to do something about it so that the next artists don’t have to struggle, cry, or figure out how to get his money.”
“Some of these artists are streaming millions and millions of streams, but they don’t have millions of dollars in their pocket,” he concludes
Snoop Dogg blasting the streaming model and supporting the writers’ strike is my FAVORITE thing ever. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/8hxDjLAkja
— James Alexander 👨🏾💻 (@ScriptsByJames) May 8, 2023
‘You have the ability to conduct a genuine discussion.’
The subject then shifts to artificial intelligence, a problem that both artists and Hollywood writers face.
Artists’ voices have previously been twisted by A.I., with a song allegedly by Drake and The Weeknd getting popular before being removed off the internet.
Writers are fighting hard against the use of artificial intelligence to produce screenplays for television programs, afraid that their jobs may be displaced if adequate laws are not put in place.
Snoop Dogg described his connection with bots as a “real conversation,” adding, “It’s blowing my mind because I used to watch movies as a kid and see this s***.”
“Then I heard the guy who invented AI say, ‘This is not safe because the A.I.’s have their own minds.'” ‘Are we in a movie now?’ I think. “Do I need to invest in artificial intelligence?”
Snoop motions to the crowd and says, “Do y’all know? “I’m at a loss.”
The “dude” the rapper is referring to might be Geoffrey Hinton, recognized as the godfather of artificial intelligence, whose research has allowed products ranging from face recognition to huge language models like as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.
The British-Canadian computer scientist resigned from Google last month, telling the New York Times that he did so so that he could openly address “the dangers of A.I.” without worrying about how it might affect the corporation.
Snoop Dogg’s representatives did not immediately react to Fortune’s request for comment; his words have been edited for clarity.
Following the rapper’s statements, Fortune approached Apple Music and Spotify for response.