Friday, November 7, 2008

Auto-Tune Does Not Equal No Talent.

“I just got tired of turning on the radio and everything just sounding the same,” remarks the Tallahassee, Florida native whose government name is Faheem Najm. “I know it might sound corny, but I wanted to try and make something different.” After doing an unofficial remix of Akon’s “Locked Up,” the African sensation signed T-Pain to his Konvict Music imprint.

I'm a little disturbed that I actually have something else to bitch about already. That something would be the fact that people mistake T-Pain's use of auto-tune on his songs for an inability to sing and rap. Ummm, no?

Since when does being different make something bad? This is just another classic case of people judging something before they get to know it. If you only know T-Pain from the songs you've heard on the radio (Buy U A Drank, I'm N Luv With A Stripper, even Good Life), then you are not even CLOSE to knowing his music or his style. A glance into my iTunes tells me that I have 208 songs either by T-Pain or featuring T-Pain. If I had to estimate I'd say a good 150 of them don't use auto-tune at all. Auto-tune is just an effect used to create a different sound every now and then. He doesn't use it as his means of making music; he has some pretty sick tracks if you just give him a chance. Besides, no one flipped out when Kanye started using auto-tune on his entire new CD, 808s & Heartbreak. If "Love Lockdown" and "Heartless" aren't awful because of auto-tune, what makes T-Pain's songs "suck?"

T-Pain is in my opinion one of the best and most unique voices in the hip-hop/R&B genre. His collaborations are second to none, and he's worked with the best on his way to becoming the best. And if all goes according to plan and "T-Wayne" becomes a reality, he'll be one-half of the best-selling collaborative hip-hop CD of alltime; you can mark my words on that one. There's no way people can resist an entire CD of T-Pain and Lil' Wayne; it's just not possible.

If the artists out there thought that T-Pain was a joke, they wouldn't be lining up to work with him. From Kanye to Lil' Wayne to Akon to Chris Brown to Flo Rida to Justin Timberlake to DJ Khaled to Fabolous to R. Kelly to Usher to Lil' Mama to Plies to Sean Paul, every one has respect for what T-Pain can do, whether it's rapping, singing (with or without the auto-tune), or producing. T-Pain can do and has done it all.

“In the past nineteen days, I’ve gotten more than twenty-five calls from artists who want to work with me,” T-Pain explains. “Right now, it’s a very exciting time.”

T-Pain's third studio album, Thr33 Ringz, comes out on Tuesday, and I'm definitely looking forward to it, based on the songs that I've heard from it so far. "Karaoke" featuring DJ Khaled basically lays out what I've been saying - how people hated on him for using the auto-tune and mistook it for a sign of weakness, then tried to copy his style. The album cover has a circus theme to it, and the Thr33 Ringz name evokes thoughts of the three rings:

“It came from people telling me that I’m running the game, that I’m the ringleader of the game,” T-Pain says humbly. “That’s where the whole circus imagery came from. I started putting it together with the idea that the circus is just like the music industry. You’ve got your different acts, all of the different animals, etc.”

Now, obviously, if you're not a fan of hip-hop, rap, R&B, whatever you want to call it, then you're not going to like T-Pain. The same way I will never listen to heavy metal no matter how "good" someone tries to tell me it is. But I just don't understand people who can, for example, be huge fans of Lil' Wayne, and then hate "Got Money" because of T-Pain's voice, or be Kanye fans and not like "Good Life." How does that make sense? Alright, don't go out and buy T-Pain's CDs, but to boycott a song by your favorite artist because you don't approve of who he's collaborating with? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

I'll end by saying YES, T-Pain is definitely different, but that's what makes him great. I used to think that I liked rap music until one day about a year ago I realized that I like T-Pain, Jay-Z & Lil' Wayne, and anything they do. Three men who have completely set themselves apart from the rest of the business.

And honestly, the rest, "just to me, sound like a bunch of karaoke."

(props to MSi for the idea for this rant.)

1 comment:

SpazAttack said...

Ok first off, i love how you actually used quotes and such like a real essay, lmao.

Secondly, i will admit that I am not a fan of either T-Pain nor Wayne, but even though I cannot stand them, i do have some respect for them. I agree that the auto-tune is just a style and that its not really fair for people to be so judgmental of him for that. If Kanye can get away with 3 albums of all sampled beats, i don't see why using the auto-tone judges anything. What i don't totally agree with is that if 'T-Wayne' had a collaborative CD, it would definitely not be the greatest callabo. of all time.... or at least i hope not.

I don't know if this is just my personal distaste in the hip-hip/r&b world of today, but i think there are other people who deserve to have more attention then these two.

I don't think i actually said anything totally revelent to your post, but i figured I would add my two cents.

BTW, This is Danny, Jon's roommate, lmao.