AP: You’re independent, so were you surprised at the success of “I Like Dat?”
T-Pain: Absolutely. Like I said, I’m not chasing the No. 1 spot, I’m not chasing money, so, you know, seeing the exposure and seeing the acceptance that it’s getting, yeah, that’s amazing…. The fact that people are still vibing with T-Pain in 2021 — yeah, I love it. That’s a dream come true. People would kill and die to last in the game this long.
AP: Eventually, you’ll have an album called “Precious Stones.” What can we expect?
T-Pain: The reason it’s called “Precious Stones” is because I feel like the world has been flooded with just the same white diamonds — like, white diamonds, meaning a metaphor as just the same kind of music all over the place. Everybody’s making the same music, everybody’s doing the same video… I look at jewelry like that and I’m like, “Why are diamonds so expensive if there’s so many of them?” Everything got diamonds in it, everything — but what you can’t find a lot of is those precious stones.
AP: You’ve received a lot of criticism in the past for popularizing Auto-Tune, but have you begun to realize how much you’re actually appreciated by your fans and music lovers?
T-Pain: I see it sometimes, man. And it does break through the negativity a lot… As an artist and as a public figure, we always see the negative first. That’s just what happens first. When we sit down and actually relax and chill out and stop trying to impress everybody, we do get to see the appreciation. And that’s where I am in my life. I’m actually chillin’, relaxing and sitting back and enjoying it. ———