T-Pain is a pioneer in music. The R&B star’s use of autotune in the mid-00’s revolutionized the way everyone worked, shifting R&B and Hip-Hop acts to the forefront of pop music. Despite his enormous success, in recent years he has confessed to some really unfortunate moments throughout his trajectory that made him doubt himself and some that might have even halted his incredible run at a time where it seemed like he knew no ceiling. Most recently he talked about some criticism from fellow R&B legend Usher that put him in a deep depression.
T-Pain was born Faheem Rasheed Najm on September 30, 1985. He is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and streamer. T-Pain got his big great with his debut single “I’m Sprung”. Prior to becoming a solo star he was signed to Akon’s record label Konvict Music.
Speaking T-Pain and his success, Akon also had some criticism about his former protege and his choices throughout his career. Akon was speaking with VladTV and decided to offer his opinion on why T-Pain’s career stalled after such a monumental star. “I think one of the major reasons is that T-Pain never left the hood. He just confined his music to urban music… That was it. I saw T-Pain as another me, to be able to cross outside of urban. Go into pop, go into EDM, go into Latin—I still think ’til this day he still can do it.”
He continued, “You and I know better than anybody, urban audiences aren’t loyal. Every year there’s a new n—a. Every year. So, you gotta take full advantage, maximize your urban presence, and then right as that side n—a come in, you exit… Hip hop, it’s a [stick] and move. It don’t stick around long enough unless you continue to reinvent yourself.”
While Akon felt like T-Pain could have contributed more to the music world at large, Usher seems to feel like he ruined it complete. In a promotional clip for the Netflix documentary This Is Pop, T-Pain talks about a conversation he had with Usher who approached him on a flight in 2013. T-Pain was en route to the BET Awards and says he was awoken by a flight attendant who said Usher wanted to speak with him.
T-Pain recalls Usher blaming him for the state of music, saying he “f**ked it up”.
“I didn’t understand. Usher was my friend. He was like, ‘You really, like, fucked up music for real singers,'” Pain recalls in the clip.
He elaborated, “Literally, at that point, I couldn’t listen. Is he right? Did I fuck up music? And that is the very moment — and I don’t think I realized this for a long time. That’s the very moment that started a four-year depression for me.”