Tonight T-Pain Will Be Visited By The Ghost Of Peter Frampton

Aug 24th, 2007 // 15 Comments

t-pain.jpgJust when I was finally starting to dig on T-Pain’s computerized whine–it was his creeped-out turn on the “Pop, Lock, and Drop It” remix what did it, and then the “I’m A Flirt” remix–dude starts fronting like he’s been anointed dictator for life of the vocal FX industry, claiming that everybody’s stealing his “signature” shtick during a Hot 97 interview:

T-pain…telling my girl Angie Martinez that artists better stop using autotuner (that’s the voicebox effect that T-Pain uses to , err, “enhance” his singing skills and make him sound like a robot) “without his permission.” He goes on to say that everyone made fun of him for using autotuner but now they’re copying him. “They know who they are….some rappers are doing it too.” T-Pain then says that its okay, but he better be getting paid for it.

The Missinfo post already mentions T-Pain’s more obvious inspirations (Roger Troutman, Teddy Riley)–which I’m sure not even Teddy Pain himself would deny–but what about the computerized/tuning effects that R&B producers have been throwing on vocals for decades now, not only to tweak them into perfection but because they sound futuristic. (Admittedly they’re usually used a little more subtly than T-Pain’s uncomfortably ululating robo-croak.) Listening to the Angie Martinez clip, I’m guessing he was probably joking, mixed with a little genuine grouchiness that grinches who griped that he was gimmicky are now ganking his golden gimmick. Still, watch it pal … or the spirits of vocoders past will find you.

Ass Of The Day Pt. 2…T-Pain []


  1. Al Shipley

    OK, yeah, he didn’t invent autotuning, but you have to admit, the overwhelming number of dudes on the radio doing it now (The Dream, Sean Kingston, J. Holiday, Cassidy and Swizz Beatz, R. Kelly, even his labelmates Akon and Ray-L) is undoubtedly because of T-Pain, not Zapp & Roger. The only act with a recent hit full of autotuning who I don’t think got the idea from T-Pain is Hellogoodbye, but even with them I’m not sure.

  2. Adam Bernard

    Being that T-Pain was a failed rapper before he went to R&B maybe he’s really a hundred years old and DID invent the robo-wail!

  3. Weezy F Baby

    has he never heard california love?

  4. ens3000


    Hate on T-Pain or disagree with him but GovernmentNames is pretty much correct. Now whether cats need to seek Pain’s permission or pay him to use the autotuner is kind of absurd although I’m sure he said that with his tongue firmly in cheek…

  5. Chris N.

    Everybody really owes those Tuvan throat singers.

  6. Vitamin B12

    Pretty sure Frampton’s still kicking. So this could be a real-life vocoder-off! WHOO!

  7. johnemack

    Roger Troutman and Peter Frampton used the talkbox, not the vocoder. The talkbox takes actual skill to learn how to use properly, where the vocoder is simple to use and helps mask the complete lack of ability to sing, which is why idiots like T-Pain and Kid Rock use them.

  8. noamjamski

    Forget Kraftwerk’s Vocoder and Peter Frampton’s talk box. I think DESMOND CHILD AND CHER would have a couple of issues with some kid taking credit for autotune as its own effect.


  9. rogerniner

    A few words for T-Pain

    “you got to tolerate all those people that you hate..”

  10. noamjamski

    Also the last two Skinny Puppy records very liberally use auto-tune to make Ogre’s voice sound creepy and un-natural. But seriously though, how does someone take credit for using a product?

    Slash may come out with a signature Les Paul, but could he say “If y’all want to use a Les Paul you must pay me?”

    I bet the Antares corporation would have a few issues with someone taking credit for starting a movement based on their software. In fact I bet they believe they are the ones who should in fact get paid if someone uses Auto-tune.

  11. nulldevice

    Dude should listen to some bhangra – that genre’s been autotuning the hell out of everybody at least as long as Cher has.

  12. Tauwan

    @Weezy F Baby:

    I love 2Pac, that album and this song as much as the next man, but as soon as you said California Love I went “ugh” and felt a chill go down my spine. It was THE 2Pac song to play at parties when I was in college.

  13. Al Shipley

    @Weezy F Baby:

    He interpolates “California Love” (as “Tallahassee Love”) on his new album, so I think so.

  14. Anonymous

    t-pain. stole his robo-voice from cher. its funny if you think about it. i think he should re-do that song ” do you believe in love after love”. i wonder if t-pain can ACTUALLY sing without is auto-tuner.

    i think t-pain should always use his autotuner. even during interviews and while talking to people. hahha! i wonder if his cell phone voicemail, if he used it there too.

    and why does he always say short-I.E. isnt it shorty?

  15. what tpain does(autotune) and what frampton and troutman did(talkbox) are completely different things that are not similar at ALL!!!. stop comparting the two. do your resarch

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