By Dylan Hubert
It was silent in the room, until I heard my phone vibrate. It was a text from my friend, Jackson. The text message simply read “T-Pain is just super chill.” Sure, this text caught me off-guard, but alas, Jackson was right. T-Pain is one of the most chill people that I can think of.
Born Faheem Rasheed Najm, T-Pain has been a staple in party songs since his 2005 breakout hit “Im N Luv (Wit a Stripper).” If you ever find yourself at a party where at least one T-Pain song is not on the playlist, you can definitely make your way to the door because this party is surely not the one for you.
T-Pain is perhaps most famous for his pioneering use of Auto-Tune. He cranks the Auto-Tune up to the maximum on hits such as “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” and “Bartender,” using the software as a kind of instrument to deliver hypnotic and futuristic vocals.
Because of T-Pain’s famous overuse of Auto-Tune, most people don’t even know what T-Pain truly sounds like. I can recall coming across T-Pain’s 2014 appearance on the popular NPR Music series “Tiny Desk,” where T-Pain performed a set without the use of any Auto-Tune. The outcome was shocking. T-Pain delivered beautiful renditions of his hits with vocals that would make your grandmother shed a tear — and not because of the obscene lyrics.
This was, for myself and many others, our first introduction to who T-Pain really is. He is a musical genius who saw the chance to make it big by mastering the use of Auto-Tune..
T-Pain is not only a great musician, but he genuinely seems like a nice guy. This is refreshing for a rap star. Not many in the rap/hip-hop community have the track record of a guy like T-Pain. He has been in a solid marriage since 2003 and has three children.
Although he has had a couple of hiccups with the law, I think everyone would agree that they are for the most chill of reasons. Iconically, T-Pain was detained at the 2007 Radio One’s Spring Fest Concert in Miami because concert officials were trying to cut his set short. During the performance of “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’),” his set was stopped and T-Pain was so frustrated that he ran off the stage and had to be detained by the police. This is just a man who wants to perform.
T-Pain is an icon of 2000s hip-hop and will always be known for his timeless party hits. What I hope that you do from now on is not only think of him as an Auto-Tune icon, but also just a genuinely chill guy. If you’re in the mood, may I suggest throwing on his “Tiny Desk” performance and calling it a night? If you feel the urge to Buy A Drank afterwards, I wouldn’t be surprised either.