In the first season of the Netflix show, per Too Fab, T-Pain recalled Usher talking to him on a plane ride to the BET Awards. T-Pain said, “He was like, ‘I want to tell you something, man.’ He sounded real concerned. He was like, ‘Man, you kinda f***** up music.'”
T-Pain explained that while he tried to take no offense to the comments, he eventually started questioning whether or not Usher was right. “I was like, ‘What did I do? I came out and I used Auto-Tune.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, you f***** it up.’ I’m like, ‘But I used it, I didn’t tell everybody else to start using it.'”
T-Pain described the interaction as a pivotal moment in his career. “That is the very moment, and I don’t even think I realized this for a long time, but that’s the very moment that started a four-year depression for me.”
Here’s what you need to know:
T-Pain: ‘Auto-Tune or Not, I’m Still Putting Out Smashes’
In 2014, the New Yorker published an article titled, “The Sadness of T-Pain.” The outlet reported that, in 2009, celebrities like Christina Aguilera were photographed wearing clothing that read, “AUTO TUNE IS FOR P******.”
Since then, T-Pain has done what he can to keep his career going, and he’s had his fair share of success.
In 2015, T-Pain performed without Auto-Tune for NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert.” Four years later, he won the first season of “The Masked Singer.”
In May 2020, the singer told Billboard, “I’m always going to have something to prove. I don’t care what you think of me. Auto-Tune or not, I’m still putting out smashes — it don’t matter what it is. Even if I was the Auto-Tune guy, I’d still make smashes. I use Auto-Tune a lot, but guess what? I make a lot of money off it.”
He also opened up about his 2020 album, “Precious Stones,” stating, “I’m doing everything myself. I learned enough from the game in previous years, and [I’m] trying to really articulate my own ideas instead of a team of people trying to do what they think is best for T-Pain. I think this is the most free I’ve been, and the most creative I’ve been in a while. I’m real proud of this album right now.”
Shania Twain, Boys II Men & the Backstreet Boys Appear in ‘This Is Pop’
“This Is Pop” was released on Netflix on June 22. The eight-part series touches on different aspects of the music industry, from hip-hop to country music, and includes interviews with a number of celebrities, like Shania Twain, Boys II Men, the Backstreet Boys members and Babyface.
In their review of the docuseries, Den of Geek wrote that “This Is Pop” is “as depressing as it is exhilarating, and it barely skips a beat.”
The outlet added, “Most of the stories are fun, and unexpected. Who knew a well recorded demo on a shitty cassette could go on to become an international sensation? The strangest things happen when a song gets stuck in your head or a tape gets stuck in the deck of a car stereo. Record deals are made that way. Every episode opens with an innocent telling of an origin story.”