T-Pain was born Faheem Rashad Najm in Florida, US. The American singer, rapper, songwriter, actor, and record producer did a cover of Akon’s “Locked Up” and was soon signed to Konvict Muzik and went straight into a spectacular career that included four chart-topping (mostly!) albums.
He also managed to pull off Grammy Award co-wins with Jamie Foxx and Kanye West respectively, his own record label-Nappy Boy Entertainment, formed in 2005, and being featured on no less than 50 chart-topping singles between 2006 and 2010.
So Where Is T-Pain?
Being featured on more than 50 hits means there will always be someone out there who knows who T-Pain is. But by the time he released his fourth album, “rEVOLVEr,” in 2011, many saw him as an untalented singer who totally rode to fame on the back of the production gimmick that is Auto-Tune.
Some believed that his use of Auto-Tune was to hide his lack of singing ability. And then Jay-Z went and released “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” in 2009, and of course it was a hit. Sadly for T-Pain, Jay-Z’s hit inspired fans to start chanting “F#@k T-Pain!” during live performances.
As if that wasn’t enough, in April that same year, “Dirty” singer Christina Aguilera was seen out and about wearing a t-shirt that read “AUTO TUNE IS FOR PUSSIES.” You can bet your front teeth she wasn’t referring to cats. Even “Rambo” would find all this depressing.
T-Pain went into a deep depression and he felt he was a worthless artist. You would too if you went from being one of Pop’s biggest hit-makers to a walking punch line. Only MC Hammer could know how he felt.
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In a 2014 interview with DJ Vladimir Lyubovny, T-Pain spoke of how he was called in as a consultant during the recording of Kanye West’s “808s and Heartbreaks.” He said at one point during the session, West wrote a song about how all of T-Pain’s ideas were dumb, and proceeded to make everyone in the studio join in with him to sing it.
He also spoke of a time when he ran into rapper Future’s brother at a fundraiser. He told him he was keen to team up with Future but the brother looked at T-Pain and said: “My brother would never work with you. F#*k you and everything you stand for.” You see? This is how you drive someone into a straight jacket. And doesn’t the Atlanta rapper use Auto-Tune as well? Just asking!
It takes a lot to get out of that kind of rut, but there has been talk of a new album titled “Stoicville: The Phoenix.” He has been steadily releasing new tracks; “Did It Anyway” and “Disa My Ting” in early March, and most recently another featuring OG Maco titled “Wait a Minute.” “Wait a Minute” will be featured on “The Iron Way” mixtape, set to be released on March 21.
T-Pain is ready to take on the music world again, and this time, he doesn’t care what anybody says. In his own words, “Stoicville” is where everybody is stoic-where nobody has emotions…everybody minds their own business. That’s the town for me. That’s where I want to live.”
Auto-Tune made Time magazine’s 2010 list of “The 50 Worst Inventions.”
Other artists who have used Auto-Tune include:
Cher in “Believe”
Daft Punk in “One More Time”
Lil Wayne in “Lollipop”
Christina Aguilera in “Elastic Love” and
Snoop Dogg/Lion in “Sexual Eruption”
Miami Based Internationally Known