T-Pain's Auto-Tune-free Tiny Desk Concert will blow your mind

October 29, 2014 7:23 PM

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On the surface, T-Pain may seem like an exceedingly odd choice for one of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, not only because the series usually focuses on rootsy singer-songwriters and indie rockers, but because his Auto-Tune-drenched signature sound seems wildly incompatible with the type of stripped-down intimacy the whole premise is founded on. But two things a lot of people don’t realize about T-Pain are that 1. behind the top hats and stripper lyrics he’s actually an incredibly talented musician, and 2. perhaps even more surprisingly, behind all that Auto-Tune he’s a phenomenally talented singer.

For his NPR gig, he plays three songs—his 2007 hit “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” and two more recent songs, “Up Down (Do This All Day)” and “Drankin’ Patna”—backed up by a nothing more than a keyboardist (or, sorry, pianist) named Toro. In between songs, T-Pain’s as disarmingly casual and funny ...

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