T-Pain is a highly successful rapper, singer, producer, and performer. Born Faheem Rashad Najm, Pain rose to prominence in the mid-’00s thanks to a string of hit records where he helped turn auto-tune into an industry standard.
Despite his massive success and undisputed place in music history, T-Pain has made a lot of claims to be mistreated or underappreciated by the music industry. Some have looked at his use of auto-tune as a negative, considering the way it pushed really good singers to the side and made way for a generation of pitch-corrected rap stars.
Over the years, T-Pain has singled out a few people who have come for him. On a flight some years ago he claims fellow R&B star Usher pulled him to the side and told him he “ruined music.” This sent him into a depression. T-Pain claims Kanye West brought him to work on music for his album Graduation, only to follow it up with an album called 808s & Heartbreaks which, according to T-Pain, completely ripped off his sound.
While Ye was looking to be T-Pain, his mentor Jay-Z was looking to end him and released a song called “D.O.A (Death of Autotune).” Pain even claims Nicki Minaj ghosted him after he asked her for a feature. It turns out that T-Pain is not completely absolved of any guilt and, in his own way, has come for others over the years with the latest being late rapper Tupac Shakur.
T-Pain is aware of his legacy. We have the “rapper turnt sanger” to thank for the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, and most famously, Future. While T-Pain was always more of a vocalist, thanks to him popularizing auto-tune, now anyone can hold a note. The pitch correction tool has been completely absorbed into hip-hop culture, with Future becoming the face of auto-tune trap rap.
When T-Pain first caught wind of Future back in 2013, he quickly took credit for the rising rap star’s signature sound and called him “the new T-Pain.” T-Pain says that he actually spoke to Future’s brother about collaborating with him and was turned down. “My brother would never work with you. [Forget] you and everything you stand for,” he recalls him saying. Pain decided to fire back in a tweet, pointing out that Future was shooting videos in cars that were on loan from him. Things never escalated, but the guys also never worked.
T-Pain did not just sit around quietly when Jay-Z declared war on auto-tune. Instead, he snuck up on stage during his set at Summer Jam in 2009 to get close to the mogul. At the time, Jay-Z said the record was not a dig at the pitch correction tool, just an invitation for rappers to not flood the market with the sound. Obviously, nobody listened. T-Pain did not appreciate the record and criticized Jay-Z, calling him old and out of touch. “Jay-Z is 59 years old. I don’t think he has the right to say what’s good and what’s not. I think if anything is dead, it should be him. To any Jay-Z fans out in the crowd, excuse the”F” outta me. But you don’t see me saying ‘rap is dead,’ even though it is. ‘Cause apparently all the rappers are trying to do T-Pain.”
T-Pain has spoken ill of beloved R&B singer Aaliyah in the past as well. This was actually in defense of him using her unreleased vocals for a record back in 2017. T-Pain responded to the backlash of him putting her voice through his pitch correction tool but saying that fans were too sensitive about her since she had passed. He joked that sometimes people who were terrible their whole lives get treated differently once they die. He went on to say, “it’s like because she passed, nobody is deserving of being next to her. Nobody’s good enough. Nobody is good enough because she passed. If she was still alive, then everybody would’ve been like, ‘Oh! She’s tryna be Beyoncé!’”
T-pain explains to DJ Akademiks why Chris Brown suffers from the 'Princess Complex' pic.twitter.com/VXdI2hZWOh
— RNB RADAR (@rnbradar_) July 12, 2022
Chris Brown has not been too happy about album sales for his latest project Breezy. While discussing his recent rant on Twitch, his “Kiss Kiss” collaborator T-Pain revealed that he feels Chris Brown has a “princess complex.” He explains, “The princess complex is when you not only get what you want, you get the accolades of a pretty person for doing absolutely-fucking-nothing. And just being pretty.” According to Pain, Chris Brown is just spoiled and entitled.
T-Pain’s thoughts on the dead being glorified are consistent, as he recently declared that he did not believe Tupac would survive in the modern social media era. He paused briefly, knowing his comments would stir controversy. “Pac woulda got [taken out] sooner, and he would have got his [behind] ate lyrically.” T-Pain does not believe that Pac was a great lyricist and feels that his success was a matter of there being fewer platforms available for much better rappers. Do you think T-Pain should keep more of his opinions to himself because he is so sensitive when people fire back at him?