Catching Up With T-Pain

Almost exclusively, I listen to the song “Bartender” by T-Pain. When I moved back to Texas, my grandfather gave me his old car. It’s just turned 10 and in the two months I’ve had it, things are declining at a worrisome rate. A taillight jumped ship in the car wash. A speaker is threatening to blow. The tape deck has developed a bad case of hiss—so bad, in fact, that it’s not worth unstringing the cassette adapter so I can listen to my iPod. So I listen to a lot of radio, and the radio plays a lot of “Bartender” by T-Pain.

» Listen to “Bartender” by T-Pain featuring Akon

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That voice modulator he’s using is more than nifty, it’s T-Pain’s bread and butter. Some see it as T-Pain’s beard. This audio nut, who “has no singing ability whatsoever,” built out a recording setup similar to T-Pain’s, and when he’s singing into the machine, his voice sounds just as sweet and buttery. About five minutes after he filmed this video, his living room was mobbed by strippers.

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Everybody wants a piece of T-Pain. Britney Spears does. And so does Kanye West. T-Pain wrapped up his modulator in its velvet cozy and drove it over to Kanye’s studio to record “Good Life.”

» Listen to “Good Life (Feat. T-Pain)” by Kanye West

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Everywhere you look these days, there’s T-Pain. Open up the closet and he’ll be in there, backing up R. Kelly. This spring the two teamed up on a remake of Bow Wow’s “I’m a Flirt.”

As long as they don’t tour any middle schools and Kelly gets his own bathroom, things should be golden. So to speak.

» Listen to “I’m A Flirt [Remix] [Feat T.I. And T-Pain]” by R. Kelly

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If you had to pick only one T-Pain song to play during your wedding ceremony, it should be “Buy U A Drank.” For a song about getting drunk and having anonymous sex (actually, it’s only anonymous for him, since he starts off with a panty remover by introducing himself and listing his song credits), it’s a stunning, beautiful arrangement.

» Listen to “Buy U A Drank (Ft. Yung Joc) (Shawty Snappin’)”


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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