T-Pain explains ditching Auto-tune

Friday, June 10, 2011

By The Music Scoop
JR Staff Writer

In 2005, T-Pain ushered in a new era in hip hop. At the time, hip hop needed something new. Jay-Z was retired and no rapper had truly stepped up. There were several new artists, but none really stood out among the rest.

But, late in the summer of 2005, T-Pain debuted his single, "I'm Sprung." The song quickly became a hit, thanks to his use of the auto-tune. It was not long before T-Pain was using the auto-tune on his hooks with other artists.

By 2007, T-Pain had risen the ranks and was recording with R. Kelly. On their collaborations, Kelly also used the auto-tune. On the mixtape level, Lil Wayne had taken over the rap game. In 2008, he released his comeback album, Tha Carter III, which featured Wayne's first chart-topper, "Lollipop," which only used the auto-tune.

Soon, everyone from Kanye West to Young Jeezy was using auto-tune. The machine had invaded every rap song on the radio. Throughout 2008, there were rumors of Jay-Z coming out with a new album, which he would name The Blueprint 3. When the album did not come, fans assumed the album was nothing more than a rumor. However, when the album came, it was led by Jay-Z's "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-tune)" single. The song was released as T-Pain prepared to release his new album.

Out of frustration, T-Pain dissed Jay-Z, but soon apologized. With his popularity drained, T-Pain decided to take time off. T-Pain came out of his hiatus for the DJ Khaled single, "All I Do is Win." However, T-Pain did not begin his more formal comeback until he performed the hook on DJ Khaled's 2011 single, "Welcome to my Hood." Now, T-Pain is preparing to release his fourth studio album and he announced the album would not feature auto-tune.

Now a six-year veteran in the game, T-Pain wants to do something different. Him ditching the auto-tune is not out of fear of a 2008 repeat. Instead, T-Pain is hoping to prove he can sing without the help of the machine and he is trying to evolve his sound. Each day, T-Pain is in the studio trying to make this happen.


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