To call the rise of Auto-Tune and the rise of T-Pain's popularity synonymous would be an understatement of the highest degree. While others used the tool before T-Pain, no one manipulated the sound the way he did, which led to a flurry of hit singles and successful albums for the 29-year-old artist.
Naturally, success brought imitation. In a HuffPost Live interview on Tuesday, he said only two of those imitators — Jamie Foxx and Chris Brown — use Auto-Tune correctly, in his mind.
"When people hear Auto-Tune, they know that it's used so much for a crutch. I use it to turn my voice into an instrument. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of guys that use Auto-Tune that cannot sing. The only person I heard use it correctly, like I use it, was Chris Brown and Jamie Foxx," T-Pain said.
When asked about Kanye West — who famously made an entire album, "808s and Heartbreak," with Auto-Tune — Pain said that while West makes good music with the tool, he just doesn't use it right.
"Kanye uses it, but he doesn't use it correctly. He makes great music with it, but the way that I use it and the way that I've shown Chris and Jamie to use it, he doesn't use it that way," he said. "He sings without it first, and then he puts it on it. ... You don't know how it's going to come out. You can't catch your mistakes before that happens. Sometimes he gets a little wobbly and things like that."
Pain, who helped West on "808s," clarified that the album is "pretty good" about Auto-Tune usage because of his help. T-Pain also likened it to his own debut album, "Rappa Ternt Sanga."
"That was pretty good because I had a lot to do with that. '808s and Heartbreak' is 'Rappa Ternt Sanga.' He told me 'Rappa Ternt Sanga' is just a bunch of love songs with a gang of bass. Which is '808s and Heartbreak.'"
West has made two solo albums ("My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" and "Yeezus") since "808s," and both have used Auto-Tune throughout the record.
Catch the rest of the clip above, and watch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.
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