Faheem Rasheed Najm. Now that’s not a name many people would recognize, even though he has had quite the prominent presence in pop culture for the past decade. The name of his people will recognize? T-Pain. Since starting his career over 10 years ago as a rapper and singer, T-Pain has released four albums and has participated in many collaborations with other such prominent musicians ranging from Kanye West to Lil Wayne, Lily Allen to R. Kelly. His most memorable tool was Auto-Tune, something that he stumbled upon by accident, and lucked out with finding the perfect pitch that matched his voice. From that moment on, T-Pain ruled the charts with auto-tune rather than his real voice because he felt that “I had to do something different / I was sounding like everyone else / I didn’t want to do that anymore / I didn’t want to be like everybody else.”
With this simple yet potent mindset of becoming his own person rather than following the trends, T-Pain branched out, and as shown by his track record over the past few years, he hit it big. This success didn’t come without its burden though. While his practice was beloved at first, people began to badmouth him, and felt that he was talent-less all because of his use of auto-tune. They started to feel, as though if he could do it, so could anyone else. His response? “I’m not gonna change my style just because other people are starting to overuse it / I’m gonna do what I believe in.” And he continued, and further increased his success. Furthermore, to show his talent, T-Pain showed up on NPR, giving people the chance to see what he was capable of.