Crate Kings » Mobile Music » How T-Pain Singlehandedly Ruined Hip-Hop

How T-Pain Singlehandedly Ruined Hip-Hop

December 4, 2007

tpain01.jpg

The original title of the post was going to be "T-Pain Is the Devil Incarnate", but something hit me at the last minute and figured that I shouldn’t get biblical on him, that’s just not good karma! Still, I know that I shouldn’t blame the entire ruin of Hip-Hop on a scapegoat, but I’m from Boston, we blame everything on scapegoats, curses, or pretty much any excuse that’s convenient at the time. Besides, if anyone is representative of the uncreative commercial crossover appeal responsible for accelerating the rot of Hip-Hop’s rebellious spirit, it’s T-Pain. Typically, I try to take a policy of ignoring the nonsense in the hopes that it will disappear, but your boy, Mr. "Epiphany", is the physical incarnation of everything vile and despicable that"s occurring in music today.

So, regardless of what the fallout may be, I stand by my statement. Up until now I’ve taken the diplomatic ideal politician approach to offering a critique of contemporary artists and their music, but this matter is something I have to just come clean and be blunt about. I know this all seems like it’s coming out of left field, but it’s actually been building up for quite some time now and I get the strangest feeling I’m not alone in my hatred for this one man minstrel show.

Remember when it wasn’t alright to jack another person’s style? Not only did T-Pain jack someone’s style, he committed armed robbery on an entire career! I’ll admit that it’s in fashion right now to use the already overdone synthesized vocals. I’ll even admit that every once in a while it sounds good on the chorus of an R&B joint. However, I want to vomit every time I hear record after record of T-Pain’s tired use of the same synthesized vocal effect for the entire song. I’m not talking about one of those little baby hiccup vomits, I’m mean one of the hardcore exorcist style, he caught 4 feet of air, spewing chunks of last night’s dinner type joints.

Does anyone remember Roger Troutman (R.I.P.)?! This is the guy that was featured on Dr. Dre’s "California Love", sample by notable such as EPMD, Tupac, etc., and copied by virtually every R&B artist today. For those who don’t know, Roger Troutman was the original 80′s funk master and undisputed king of the talk box (vocal tube synthesizer usually played with either a guitar or keyboard). Anyone who tries to claim otherwise simply doesn’t know. Even the cats people who sampled Zapp & Roger in the past has the courtesy and respect to feature him in a video, use the original sample source, or somehow leave trace evidence that someone better had already created the sound. T-Pain has paid no such courtesy. Instead he’s tried to pass off pseudo singing, boring content, and an overpriced drink coaster wrapped up in the shape of major release CD.

I mentioned all of this to a friend of mine and he responded by telling me that we’re living in the age of retro urban music. Although it pains me to know that it’s somewhat true, this particular use still doesn’t sit right with me and is damn close to, dare I say, plagiarism. It reminds me of a quote I heard some time ago, which said something to the effect of "to copy one person is called plagiarism, to copy many is called respect." The normally applies to one artistic work or endeavor, but here’s my question… what is it called when you copy a whole career?

To see how an original legend got down check out a little video I stumbled across. Zapp & Roger – "More Bounce To The Ounce"

 

Related posts:

  1. T-Pain Suing Maker of Auto-Tune Antares
  2. T-Pain Auto-Tune iPhone App By Smule
  3. T-Pain Talks Auto-Tune Haters And Pop Champagne Effect Misuse
  4. DJ T-Pain’s Asher Roth Scratching Session
  5. Making of The Producer w/ Diddy x T-Pain

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

tyler goddang palmer April 3, 2008 at 10:52 pm

wow way to pick a scapegoat buddy. I think you right though. he isnt original for using a piece of technology that was used before and the trademark of someone else. lets not focus on the fact that every rapper since rapping began has stolen beats, sampled others music, copied lyrics that they thought no one would recognize, and so on. You dont like tpain…thats an opinion but to blame the guy for why hip hop is dead is a little far. if you want to blame someone its the people that listen and promote crap. soulja boy is on that list of making crap. how bout the people that have allowed tupac to sell 11 albums after he died. eminem is white…how did that happen.
hip hop was not ruined by tpain fact. He may have over used a technic but now thats his thing. dont be an old man that sits down to listen to radio and starts blabbin about how it “isnt like it used to be”. move on buddy. let roger be dead

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drew August 3, 2008 at 6:15 pm

im prety sure t-pain did not ruin hip hop ,who really cares if he altered his voice a bit everybody does it today. cheack out his sweet church song featured in step up 2

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Andre November 3, 2008 at 4:40 pm

He didnt steal roger’s style, he’s keeping it alive because before t pain there was noone like him

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g December 27, 2008 at 8:58 pm

you know why hip hop is a dying.
just read on and you tell me.

AP: Did you ever think about giving up your musical dreams?

TP. Yes. The most horrible time was the day that Akon called me. He called me right when I went to get my application from McDonald’s. I was giving up. I was literally in my dad’s house renting my studio out, running it off of a generator outside. People couldn’t even record. The people who lived behind us was calling the police because of the noise ordinance because they heard the generator all day and all night. I was eating mayonnaise out of the jar. It was bad. I used to sit in front of McDonald’s and ask people for dollars to get me a cheeseburger. It was bad. Then that one day I went to go get that application. I had been hanging out in front of there so much I knew the managers and all. I had no problem getting a job or anything. I went to go get that application and that’s when Akon called me.

AP: You didn’t finish junior high. Do you regret not finishing?

TP. No. I just knew half of the history class was bullcrap. Math class, that helped me out. Science, I wasn’t going to be a scientist. I know how to burn stuff and cut frogs open.

AP: What about missing out on milestones in your life, like prom and graduation?

TP. I didn’t need that. I was in 30-plus clubs when I was 14-years-old. I didn’t want to go and dance with no little girl. All the joys, my parents weren’t big on first prom picture like, “Oh my son is going to prom.” My parents weren’t big on that at all. I just made it how I made it and if I wouldn’t have made that decision I wouldn’t be in front of the camera right now.

AP: Do you want to break away from the vocal synthesizer to prove to people you can sing well without it?

TP. That is irrelevant that I have the audio tune on my voice. There are even songs on the first record without it. I have done so many shows live. You can’t put an effect on your voice live so everyone knows I can sing without it. There are songs I have done with other people without it and there are songs on this album without it. I kept it going because that is my signature. When people hear that effect they say, “T-Pain must be on the song or that’s somebody trying to be like T-Pain.”

AP: You are most known for being a singer, but you also rap. Why didn’t you just stick to singing on this album?

TP. Because I can still rap. It is nothing I am going to throw away. I started my album off with rap last time. I started out this album with a rap just letting people know it is still there. It isn’t going to take anything away from the album. If there are certain songs you like, you are still going to like those songs no matter how much I rap I basically was trying to please myself because I like to rap I have to please myself more than anybody else because I’ve got to like it before anybody.

AP: What do you think will surprise people most about this album?

TP. Everybody thinks the album is going to be a bunch of “I’m N Luv (Wit A Strippers).” I am hitting on way more stuff than that. I’ve got a song called “Suicide” that’s talking about the awareness of AIDS and drug addiction. A lot of people don’t think I got songs like that. They see my image and they go, “He’s hood. He is going to talk about some hood stuff or a lot of sex on his album.” I hit on a lot of different subjects.

AP: You produced two songs for Britney Spears. What is your impression of her?

TP. That was the most beautiful thing in the world. Do you know why she was shaving her head? Because it was so important to other people. She is like, “Listen. Don’t touch my hair anymore. Stop touching my hair.” She still had hair and all that (when I worked with her). People were like, “We’ve got to make your hair before you go outside. You can’t leave.” She went … “Now I don’t have hair. What you going to do?” You can’t hate R. Kelly. You can’t hate Britney Spears because you know what, no matter what Britney Spears been doing, she’s still on TV. Every time I say something about her, “People are like, ‘For real, Britney Spears. How was that?” You can’t get rid of these people no matter what they do. R. Kelly, 16 years in the game, one incident can’t take away the last 15 years.

AP: What do you want people to know about this album?

TP. I’ve made club songs and I’ve made radio songs and I’ve made the car songs. These songs are T-Pain songs. These are my songs. This is all me and it came from my heart. If people like this album that means they like me as a person

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thedifference December 28, 2008 at 11:45 am

Hear’s a list of scapegoats you can blame for ruining hip hop:

Diddy
The Neptunes
Autotune
Soulja Boy
Timbaland

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Thatguyred September 28, 2009 at 3:17 am

I totally agree with you with that list! Timberland im not
saying some of his beats were not tight, But him and puffy
were responsible for mixing R&B with Rap music and hip-hop.
Back in the day you barely heard R&B mixed with rap.
Now every rapper has to have an R&B artist on their cd, or
an appearance by somebody, rappers back then did not
care to have every rapper in the game on their cd. Autotune
is not talent it sucks. I do like the original computer love. Pharrel did a few good song, but yes he is one to blame as well, but the most is the
labels. Radio stations for playing some of this garbage. Look at even
Rock music today it sounds like pop some of it! Videos lost their
creative edge!

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Loop Analysis December 29, 2008 at 2:06 am

Okay first of all, HIP HOP IS NOT DEAD!!!
its just a stupid marketing idea to gain more eyes into mainstream music. and second of all…Timbaland, the neptunes? ruin? Hip hop? check your music, and history “the difference”. hip hop was all about getting the message out, talk about whatever you want, and make a living outta it. Im getting tired of T-pain as much as the next guy, but leave the man ALONE. he is making his life better by doing what he does. He did not invent, steal, or re-use Auto-tune. Anyone could have been T-pain, he just thought of it first.

my opinion: T-pain sings well without autotune, im tired of hearing about hip hop is dead and anything about T-pain. Oh and did ya hear?
Disco is dead…
Died last week…
Wow, i didn’t know it could die…
Reality Check, it CAN’T!!!
music can’t die people, its music!!!

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Mjay September 28, 2009 at 6:14 am

Yo i think that’s what music evolusion is doing ,because not one artist is responsible for the ruin of hip hop.And nowadays its all about money, aint no passion and talent anymore you do what the people like so that u can sell e.g When lil-wayne came into the hip hop industry we knew him as a rapper but now he sing ,use technology vocal synthesis talk about money and what he got ,so the only message he leaves its all about him and how hot he is.The beats produced for him are funk and tight but there is no talent there, believe me take ur voice and synthesis it then youll know what do i mean.Just like TUPAC said real niggas do what they wanna do and bitch niggas do what they wanna do.The reason why i play classic hip hop is because its message have an effect to my reality,the reason why people listen to this funk hip hop is that they are rich and spoiled .Thats what they always say i got money .And it hurts for those who cares about the real hip hop those who educate people in their lyric like Nas, Immortal Technique etc ,why ant they big sellers.So whom do we blame Vocal Technology,The fans or Artist without a story to tell, making easy stuff like Lalala.

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Thatguyred October 11, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Yes he did kill hiphop not just him but he is one of the ones
today doing it! him and soldier boy!

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Doubledown Tandino November 21, 2009 at 10:47 am

See… I could agree with you, if I chose to see it from the perspective you laid out…. but… I have another perspective. Let’s look at it this way:

T-Pain (and his creation of auto-tune) was innovation. It was new, fresh, and something that stood out as individual artistry….

And Hip Hop destroyed Hip Hop… as it always does… by overusing, stealing ideas, creating nothing new, trying to be in it for the money, trying to get famous, trying to get cred.. all this, by copying someone else and cashing in on it.

In my point of view, T-Pain was the first to create something new, and then all the untalented rappers stole and copied, and the record labels used and abused the hiphop music listeners and buyers.

I’m not saying I think T-Pain is all that, but I am saying he invented something new. He is an innovator. He took it upon himself to be an artist and a creator. And then, as usual the hip hop game is what destroyed hip hop. It’s upsetting when people are misinformed, and are sheep. And people that listen to commercial radio are sheep. They’ll love whatever the radio tells them to love. They’ll love whatever is pushed on them by labels and the industry.

Footnote: don’t come at me like I’m misinformed here, personally, I think cratekings is the most intellectual informative hiphop, producer, and DJ blog out there. I read every single article. All I’m saying is T-Pain did his thing, and the copiers and wannabes, and untalented fools are now using autotune to mask that they have no talent.

check out my post: Auto Tune and Over Auto Tune.
http://djdoubledown.blogspot.com/2009/11/auto-tune-and-over-auto-tune-know-your.html

Auto tune is a joke. It’s comical. As a DJ, I don’t play one single song with auto-tune in a track.

(and PS… Personally I think Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas single-handedly destroyed hip hop…. he’s a sellout.)

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Tony October 29, 2010 at 7:48 am

yeah i know its been almost a year since you wrote this, but one thing that bothers me about what you wrote is that t-pain “invented something new.” he didn’t create shit. if you read the original blog there were many ppl before him using the electronic voice thing (mainly zap & roger). yeah maybe t-pain is responsible for making this shit popular today, but that aint a good thing. now every mother fucker thinks they can sing because they got auto tune to clean up their shitty vocals.

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natural February 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Yo i think that’s what music evolusion is doing ,because not one artist is responsible for the ruin of hip hop.And nowadays its all about money, aint no passion and talent anymore you do what the people like so that u can sell e.g When lil-wayne came into the hip hop industry we knew him as a rapper but now he sing ,use technology vocal synthesis talk about money and what he got ,so the only message he leaves its all about him and how hot he is.The beats produced for him are funk and tight but there is no talent there, believe me take ur voice and synthesis it then youll know what do i mean.Just like TUPAC said real niggas do what they wanna do and bitch niggas do what they wanna do.The reason why i play classic hip hop is because its message have an effect to my reality,the reason why people listen to this funk hip hop is that they are rich and spoiled .Thats what they always say i got money .And it hurts for those who cares about the real hip hop those who educate people in their lyric like Nas, Immortal Technique etc ,why ant they big sellers.So whom do we blame Vocal Technology,The fans or Artist without a story to tell, making easy stuff like Lalala

Reply

go_F_33_ureself February 16, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I blame the A-N-R’s Clear Channel Viacom, the Corporate Entities that have ran A Muck In Hip Hop and Music in general Promoting the same garbage. Public Schools and the whole Tie of Pushing Ignorance, Distractions and Entertainment, to the PEOPLE.

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