The Auto-Tune Backlash Turned T-Pain Into A Raging Drinker Who ‘Cried to Himself’

Lose Some, Win Some

The lows and highs of T-Pain’s life

LOWS
>Around the time when people were hating on me about Auto-Tune, I was drinking as much as I could to get away from my problems, crying to myself. I’ve almost lost fingers from punching glass and pictures. I turned into a raging alcoholic. If I could talk to myself then, I would say, “Stop trying to get approval from these wack niggas that’s only gonna take your style.”

>I could have been around my kids more. I was young, so I felt like I wasn’t ready to sit down and be a dad. My wife and daughter were living in Tallahassee, and I wanted to go out to the club and do all that extra shit. My wife would be like, “Can we come see you?” And I would be like, “Well, not this weekend because I’m going to the club.”

>Cases like [Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis], we’ve seen it every day in Florida. We were the murder capital for a long time. My uncle got killed by police for just looking like a suspect. People want to do marches and try to make money off these stories. People will say, “Oh, you not a real black man. You don’t care!” It’s not that I don’t care. I’ve just seen it all before.

>Without sounding like a dick, making a hit is the easy part. The hard part is trying to figure out how I can get people to like something that I really fuck with. You feel like, “This song is a work of art. I need to tell somebody!” And then when you play it for people, they’re like, “This is not what we want to hear.”

HIGHS
>I learned something very important from Diddy when I was writing songs for The Last Train to Paris. He told me, “Imagine if you pushed yourself a little further out of your comfort zone. You ain’t tried it yet. That means you’re scared of yourself.” That changed me.

>I was lucky enough to have a great dad. He spent damn near his whole retirement check on getting me a recording studio in his house. I dropped out of school in 8th grade, so I was literally in the studio every hour. My mom had to bring food into my room because I wouldn’t leave for dinner. Being a good father is all about getting behind your kids’ ideas, no matter how stupid they sound [laughs].

>I fucked up on my last album because I listened to somebody else. I wasn’t proud of myself. That’s not something I want to do anymore. No matter how many times people try to fuck with that Auto-Tune style, nobody’s done it better than me. And I’m still gonna be the best at this shit no matter what.

>I figured I would make my own Auto-Tune app and put it out there for everybody. We did 10 million downloads in the first week, $2.99 each. So all those people that wanted to get away from T-Pain, now I’m getting paid for you not to get away from T-Pain.