Among the plethora of artists Chicago rapper Kanye West recruited while working on his 808s & Heartbreak album years ago was Tallahassee, Florida singer/rapper T-Pain. And during a recent interview with Vlad TV, T-Pain recalled working with Kanye on his fourth studio album while in Hawaii.
According to T-Pain, Kanye expressed his appreciation for his debut album, Rappa Ternt Sanga and even referred to the Floridian musician as a “genius” for his work on the LP.
“The crazy thing was I worked on 808s & Heartbreak with Kanye,” T-Pain said. “I went down to Hawaii for like 10 days with that nigga. You know what I’m saying? And Kanye actually told me himself. My album, Rappa Ternt Sanga, he said ‘I listened to your album Rappa Ternt Sanga. I heard all the songs. I fuckin love your album Rappa Ternt Sanga. I think you a genius. Blah blah blah.’ He went through this whole spiel. He said, ‘But what I figured out that Rappa Ternt Sanga is just a bunch of love songs with a shit load of base in em.’ And I’m like ‘Well, love songs is like heartbreaks and the shit load of bass is the 808s. So, you calling your album 808s & Heartbreak because you making a bunch of love songs with a shit load of bass in ‘em?’ And he basically was like ‘Yeah, pretty much.’”
T-Pain says the similarities between Rappa Ternt Sanga and 808s & Heartbreak and the lack of credit he received as the originator of the Auto-Tune technique once Ye’s album was released left him feeling unappreciated.
“I respect that shit, but it’s like the praise that he got from it was like ‘Oh my God, this is so creative. This is the new shit. This is the shit,’” he said. “And I’m like ‘Well, what happened in 2005 when I dropped Rappa Ternt Sanga and it was the same album. That’s kind of weird.’ You know what I’m saying. It just felt like I was unappreciated and anything like that. Any originator of anything is gonna be the lesser known because it’s the newest thing and that’s just not—it’s not right, but that’s just how shit goes.”
With the release of his debut album and singles including “I’m Sprung” and "I'm 'n Luv (Wit a Stripper),” T-Pain became one of the first mainstream acts to rely heavily on the use Auto-Tune in his music. T-Pain’s work with Auto-Tune ultimately resulted in the singer/rapper being recruited for 808s & Heartbreak towards the end of the project.
Last year, T-Pain criticized fellow artist Future for his use of Auto-Tune, stating that the Atlanta rapper doesn’t understand “the technology very well.” He circled back to the comments he made in regards to Future during his interview with Vlad TV and revealed that no one has spent as much time researching Auto-Tune as he has.
“I can firmly say that nobody has looked into Auto-Tune the way I have,” T-Pain said. “You know what I’m saying? I’ve looked into Auto-Tune. I literally met the inventor of Auto-Tune. I talked to him about the way that Auto-Tune was invented. Auto-Tune was invented by this guy who used to be an oil digger. This guy used to work on an oil rig and they used to send sonar signals and tones down on the ground and if it came back a different tone up to where your equipment was then that means that determines if you got oil or not…He used that same math to make Auto-Tune. And it’s like you send the tone into Pro Tools and it sends you the right tone back. And a lot of math went into that shit…I really studied this shit and I know for a fact that nobody has sat down in the studio and studied this shit that much.”