Seriously. I was skeptical, too. Before you say anything else, click play on the video.
T-Pain wasn't the first rapper to use Auto-Tune, but he was the first to use it to turn his voice into an instrument to be manipulated into new sounds and styles. He exploded onto the hip-hop scene in the early 2000s, and it wasn't long before his voice was synonymous with "Auto-Tune."
And his influence spread. Other superstar rappers picked up on the Auto-Tune trend. From Kanye West to R. Kelly and Chris Brown to Diddy, Auto-Tune took over the R&B genre, but everyone remembered who was responsible for its prominence.
Reportedly, T-Pain collected royalties from other hip-hop artists who used Auto-Tune, and there was even an iPhone app that allowed users to Auto-Tune their own voices called "I Am T-Pain."
But for all T-Pain's fame, Auto-Tune was short lived. Jay Z released his 2009 hit "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)," and critical backlash against singers who used Auto-Tune as a crutch flooded the media and reviews.
Now, we learn, T-Pain never needed Auto-Tune. All that time, there was an amazing voice hiding beneath the computerized notes.
In an intimate performance for NPR Music, T-Pain performs some of his biggest hits for a small audience. But he does them acoustically — it's just the accompanying keyboard and T-Pain's voice.
"This is weird as hell for me," he jokes in the video. "I've never done anything like this."
But that awkwardness only lasts a few seconds because even though he seems nervous about taking to the stage sans Auto-Tune, T-Pain sings "Buy U a Drank" with the emotion and nuance that Auto-Tune masks.
I am, by no means, a huge T-Pain fan. But this video makes me wish he'd dropped Auto-Tune years ago. And if he ditches it moving forward, I think I'll pay more attention to his music from now on.
What do you think of T-Pain's Auto-Tune-less performance? Is he better off without it? Or should he stick to what he knows? Tell us what you think in the comments.
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!