First Hit #1: May 26, 2007
The problem with T-Pain is that he’s a software plugin rather than a performer. In theory there’s a human behind this performance – there is a man in the video, not a laptop – but his vocal is so heavily processed that it completely wipes out any character that might be in his actual vocal. T-Pain, through his manipulation of autotune, has rendered himself redundant. Anyone could be T-Pain, they just need to own some software and take a fairly unorthodox approach to English grammar and they too can have a hit.
It’s otherwise not that much of a song, a fairly minimalist ballad about alcohol and money, though the finger snaps are interesting enough and Yung Joc’s verse is a welcome break from T-Pain’s awful digital processing. It was his trademark, but it’s a bad idea to build a career on something that makes you more like everyone else, and he certainly is a major figure in the backlash against the abuse of autotune. After all, ubiquity made the effect annoying, and nobody else pushed it to the breaking point to the same degree.