Snoop Dogg goes off script in interview with former Apple Music director, saying the music industry ‘isn’t working’ anymore because of streaming

May 9, 2023, 10:58 AM UTC
Snoop Dogg on stage at the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference
Snoop Dogg used his time on stage at the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference to call on streaming giants like Apple Music and Spotify to clarify payment rules around streaming figures.
Jerod Harris - Getty Images

Snoop Dogg has taken aim at streaming giants which he believes are damaging the music industry—and in his eyes the wider creative sector.

In an event held at the Milken Institute Global Conference earlier this month the Gin and Juice rapper said he was going “off script” and launched into a rant—which has since gone viral—about streaming platforms.

The outburst came following a question from Larry Jackson, formerly the creative director for Apple Music, who spoke about an “exciting time” for the hip hop genre courtesy of its popularity on streaming platforms.

“Streaming got to get their s*** together,” Snoop—real name Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.—batted back, highlighting that massive streaming figures aren’t translating into big payouts for artists.

The founder of venture capital firm Casa Verde Capital—reportedly worth at least $200 million—then directly addresses the audience of business leaders: “I don’t know who’s running the streaming industry—if you are here or not—but you need to give us some information on how to track this money down, cause one plus one ain’t adding up to two.”

Amid laughter and cheers from the audience, the recent coffee brand founder said the problem was the “main gripe” with artists at the moment, as profit percentages had previously been agreed off the back of physical sales.

In the world of streaming, he adds, no such agreements have been put in place.

“It’s not being translated,” he said. “It’s not working for the artist right now.”

The rapper continues that artists need to figure out streaming the same way as do striking writers, who are refusing to go back to their desks until pay agreements have been made with streaming platforms—at which point Snoop Dogg seemingly motions to Jackson.

“I know I’m going off script now but f*** it,” he continues. “This is business, this is a room full of business people and someone may hear this and be able to do something about this so that the next artists don’t have to struggle or cry or figure out how to get to his money.

“Some of these artists are streaming millions and millions of streams and they don’t have millions of dollars in their pocket,” he finishes.

‘You can hold a real conversation’

The discussion then moves onto artificial intelligence, an issue similarly beleaguering both musicians and Hollywood writers.

Artists have already had their voices be manipulated by A.I., with a song supposedly from Drake and The Weeknd going viral before being scrubbed from the internet.

Writers are pushing hard against the use of A.I. to write scripts for shows, fearing their roles could be replaced if sufficient regulations aren’t put in place.

Snoop Dogg said his interaction with bots felt like a “real conversation,” adding: “It’s blowing my mind because I’ve watched movies as a kid and I used to see this s***.

“Then I heard the dude that created A.I. saying ‘This is not safe cause the A.I.’s got their own minds. I’m like: ‘Are we in a movie now?’ Do I need to invest in A.I.?”

Motioning to the audience Snoop asks: “Do y’all know? I’m lost.”

The “dude” the rapper is talking about may be Geoffrey Hintonknown as the godfather of A.I.—whose research has enabled products from facial recognition to large language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.

The British-Canadian computer scientist resigned from his position at Google last month, telling the New York Times he made the decision so he could freely discuss “the dangers of A.I.” without considering how it might impact the company.

Representatives for Snoop Dogg did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment, his quotes have been amended for clarity.

Fortune also contacted Apple Music and Spotify for comment following the rapper’s remarks.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.

Read More

Artificial IntelligenceCryptocurrencyMetaverseCybersecurityTech Forward