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  • Writer's pictureBob Bjarke

Counting Crows featuring Lil’ Wayne: AI’s Favorite Musical Mashups

I trained an AI model on thousands of band names, expecting the model to generate some new ones for me. The results weren’t at all what I expected.

Using this dataset of Billboard Hot 100 songs from the last 60+ years, I trained the model on artist names alone, using this GPT-2 notebook. What I didn’t expect was that an incredibly high number of popular songs in the dataset (beginning from the late 80’s and early 90’s) were collaborations among two or more musicians. This phenomenon essentially taught my model that an artist name consists of at least two entities, and that new band names should follow this pattern.

Rather than completely new creations, the vast majority of results were a bizarre mashup of real bands, real bands + other famous non-musicians, or real bands + not-real bands. Here are my favorites:

  • Perry Como, Katy Perry & Big Sean

  • Hara (Featuring Lisa Kudrow)

  • Barry Manilow with The Wailers

  • Jason Mraz & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

  • Billie Eilish & Bryan Adams

  • Coldplay Featuring Olivia Newton-John

  • Rage Against The Machine Featuring Nicki Minaj

  • Crazy Elephant Featuring Sonia Sotomayor

  • Kendrick Lamar Featuring Vince Gill

  • The Art Of Noise Featuring Sylvia Plath

  • Rich Homie Quan Featuring Sheryl Crow

  • Frank Ocean Featuring Pitbull

  • Pete Seeger And The Other Famous Outlaws & Congolians

  • Wyclef Jean Featuring Yung Joc, Kevin Gates & Keith Urban

  • P!nk Featuring Mick Jagger

  • The Simpsons Featuring Bart & Barthe

  • Elvis Costello And The Not-So-Secret Society

  • Ne-Yo Featuring Lil Durk & Denzel Washington

  • Kenny Rogers With Orchestra And Chorus

  • Mase Featuring Ed Sheeran

  • Miley Cyrus Featuring Miley Cyrus

  • Counting Crows Featuring Lil Wayne

  • LL Cool J Featuring 10 Inch Nails

  • Gladys Knight & The Group

  • The Dave Clark/Donna Summer Band

  • Bryan Cranston Featuring Eric B. & The GreenBorders

  • Lil PSA Featuring Cardi B

The model did sometimes create completely new band names. While not as many as I’d hoped, there were some good ones:

  • Karl Marx And The New Left

  • The Hues That Make Up The Night

  • 1–800–989–2812

  • The Coroners

  • Dicky Gervais


  • Georgia Washington

  • Adam And The before-and-then-unused Hermits

  • Ron Stewart

  • Obama

  • C.F.O. Of The Ricohoods


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