We’ve often heard musicians involved with the Five Percenter movement carry on about Supreme Mathematics, but never before have we heard a performer expound on the mathematics of Auto-Tune. That’s all changed now that T-Pain is on the warpath against Future (who “doesn’t know how to use Auto-Tune”) and Kanye West (who didn’t properly credit T-Pain for his influence on 808s & Heartbreak) in a new video interview with Vlad TV. Regarding the disparity between Future’s Auto-Tune expertise and his own, T-Pain explains:
I don’t think he gets the technology, but I mean, nobody does! I can firmly say that nobody has looked into Auto-Tune the way I have. You know what I’m saying? I’ve looked into Auto-Tune. I’ve literally met the inventor of Auto-Tune. I’ve talked to him about the way that Auto-Tune was invented. Auto-Tune was invented by this guy who used to be an oil digger. This guy used to worked on a oil rig, and they used to send sonar signals and tones down in the ground, and if it came back a different tone up to where your equipment was, that determines if you’ve got oil or not… He used that same math to make Auto-Tune. And it’s like you send a tone into ProTools and it sends you the right tone back. And a lot of math went into that shit and just some shit that’s more complicated — it would take us fucking a billion minutes to explain this shit to regular motherfuckers. But, like, I really studied this shit, and I know for a fact that nobody has sat down in the studio and studied this shit that much.
As for Kanye’s debt to T-Pain, the interview references a conversation in which Kanye offered vociferous praise for T-Pain’s 2005 debut Rappa Ternt Sanga:
[Kanye] said, “But what I figured out that Rappa Ternt Sanga is just a bunch of love songs with a shitload of bass in ’em.” And I’m like, “Well, love songs is like heartbreaks and the shitload of bass is the 808s. So, you calling your album 808s & Heartbreak because you making a bunch of love songs with a shitload of bass in ’em?” And he basically was like “Yeah, pretty much.”
T-Pain also has some choice words about the making of his 2007 Kanye collaboration “Good Life.” All in all, it’s an exhilarating six minutes. Watch the full interview below.
T-Pain’s album Stoicville: The Phoenix is due out sometime this year via RCA/Konvict/Nappy Boy.