T-Pain: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

T-Pain’s fingerprints are all over pop and R&B and hip-hop. He wasn’t the first musician to use Auto-Tune as an instrument — he noticed it on a Jennifer Lopez remix, and remembers “Deep” well — but it was, as he says, his style. For a while, in the mid-2000s, he lived at the top of the charts. He dominated that brief moment of our lives when ringtones were a thing. He was celebrated as an innovator, and he happily took his talents where he was invited, which was everywhere.

But somewhere along the way, somebody got it twisted. “People felt like I was using it to sound good,” says T-Pain, in an interview that will air on All Things Considered. “But I was just using it to sound different.”

He just turned 30, but T-Pain has already done enough to drop a greatest hits album next week. We asked him if he’d grace the Tiny Desk without any embellishment or effects to show what’s really made his career: his voice, and those songs.–FRANNIE KELLEY

“Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’)”
“Up Down (Do This All Day)”
“Drankin’ Patna”

Producers: Frannie Kelley, Maggie Starbard; Editor: Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Colin Marshall, Maggie Starbard; Production Assistant: Susan Hale Thomas; photo by Maggie Starbard/NPR

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20 Responses

  1. Josleezy Productions says:

    we forgive you, T-Pain, you’re fire…

  2. vernon col says:

    i know he displaying his talent but he over singing his songs lol but still
    hands dwn better then most sing artist that’s famous sadly… some can sing
    and dance well Tpain can sing dance and rap well… but still and he brung
    back autotune from the 80 mid 90s he should be way more famous then he is
    just sayin but if you didn’t know why he aint simply put people are shallow
    P.O.S gotta look good over all else.. talent is secondary

  3. Cleve Jaska says:

    daym, he got da talent mann

  4. riptorn says:

    Lol all the niggers and brown people trying to act white now days, so

  5. General VG says:

    Actually If you think about I don’t think T-Pain wouldn’t have gotten as
    famous as he is now if he didn’t use Auto tune. If he used is regular voice
    he wouldn’t have been noticed as much because its not rare to find someone
    who can sing good. And thats why he used it. Its pretty genius. His real
    voice is like a secret weapon he can pull it out as a last stop so he can
    be recognized again.

  6. Eric Adams says:

    I will admit, the pretentious hipster within me didn’t want to enjoy or
    even click on this, but I’m so glad a buddy recommended it to me. Amazing.

  7. Darnell Dash says:

    Follow me on insta sly_dash81 

  8. The Decibel Dude says:

    I’d love to hear an old school RnB style record from Tpain. He really does
    have a good voice… Imagine what he could do in the studio sans auto tune!

    Too bad the audio on this vid sounds like the bookstore barista was manning
    the mixer. A shame, especially for a music series. Red lights flashing
    means turn down the gain, yo! You’re clipping! 

  9. Abdel Naoufel says:

    Respect from marrakech morocco !!!

  10. BigMoney AP says:

    Am I the only one who thinks this is over hyped? Clearly he’s talented but
    I guess I’m just trying to compare him to drake or party.

  11. Noah McCoy says:

    Why the heck does he waste his time with auto tune???

  12. Xerneas023 says:

    If you play clash of clans join Lightning Surge.You will now if your in
    correct clan if it has Destroyer.We donate high level troops and always do

  13. Jamel Hunter says:

    I saw him live several years ago, I’ve known he can sing for awhile. People
    still really though he actually needed autotune to sound good?

  14. AyeJ4y12 says:

    I hope he really only used it to sound different, not because the record
    company. Cause it’s a waste of talent. Even though he is good and catchy
    with auto tune, I would buy this over his auto tune stuff 10/10 times. 

  15. Falcon Lover says:

    *I’m not being Racist,*

    *But why is it always Black Musicians who’s career ends so quick? Soulja

  16. Brigg Parsons says:

    This kid named matt keeps bullying me and I just don’t know if I can take
    it anymore! I am considering suicide. Someone text him and talk some sense
    into him! 4358931785.

  17. 2straws says:

    where can i get those glasses

  18. yuldurum says:

    Does anybody know what hat he is wearing?

  19. svitax187 says:

    Tpain > Future. PERIOD!

  20. pantysoaker420 says:

    should be bigger than r. kelly, that voice is angelic

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