T-Pain is another of those artists who are successful at everything they try to do musically speaking. In theory an Auto-Tune heavy song about falling in love with a stripper (and how she dances upon her particular acrobatic apparatus) shouldn't even be a hit. But somehow T-Pain turned "I'm In Love With A Stripper" into one of his many hits. And when I speak of T-Pain's hits I am inclined to include songs like "Bartender" and "Can't Believe It" because both songs were so well done and catchy that if I were to sing a line from anywhere, you could finish it.
Then there are the features. Let's not even go into that because there are so many of them that are favorites that this article will just devolve into that. Suffice to say, he's a monster on a hook or a featured verse.
All this prior knowledge led me towards T-Pain's mixtape Stoic. When I listened to it I was hard pressed to believe that this was just an album that he [T-Pain] didn't feel like putting out. That's probably why I consider this project more of a free album than anything else. The sounds are great and the songs are almost instantly catchy. This is the magic of T-Pain.
"Can I Get" is a fun party track and one of the first songs I put on repeat. The basic theme of this song is this: despite his promise of never, ever drinking again T-Pain is demanding drinks to increase the amazing mood he is in. I can relate to this. A good party track isn't complete without Pitbull and he proves that on this one. Pitbull and Pain play off each other, their verses playing as if they were sharing the same mindset.
"Hole In My Pocket" is an interesting song to me. I say this because T-Pain, assisted by Nuke Nickelz and Doe Montana from the Nappy Headz, makes being broke sounds so soulful. Having been broke before I can tell you there's nothing particularly soulful about it. This speaks to both a great storytelling skill and great production skills. Next time I'm low on funds, this will be my theme. Guaranteed.
"Monster Mash" reminds me of "Church" from the Epiphany album. The drums pound and the cymbals crash well on this one. In this song 'monster mash' is a euphemism for his weapon. Notty Black is featured here with a delivery that sounds somewhere between Yelawolf and Ludacris. It's an interesting sound that adds to the track.
"Streets Saved Me" is rather introspective once you actually listen to it. Here T-Pain praises the streets as opposed to condemning that part of his upbringing. This track speaks on how the streets were a refuge when his family couldn't handle him. In those streets he discovered music and the rest is history, as they say. Young Cash is the featured artist who speaks on his experience in the streets.
"SupperTime" wasn't what I expected. I didn't know what to expect, to be honest. The track is about a man who sees a new man in his ex's life. I'm unsure if he's jealous or just missing her here. Mostly I belive it to be a mixture of the two. Any man who sees an ex move on has probably felt this at one time or another.
Also check out "Going Off" and "Invisible Girl".
T-Pain offers an eclectic mix on this mixtape that I wholly appreciate and respect. I hope more of the same is coming in the near future.
Lucius Black for Royalty Magazine