To say that T-Pain's upcoming Drankin Patna Tour is a natural part of the Tallahassee-bred hitmaker's progression is kinda like saying strippers dig it when rappers make it rain. Both are perfectly true, of course. But neither takes into account the many dips and curves it takes to do what they do.
Sure T-Pain's the cat who made much of his rep with such alcohol-fueled combustions as "Buy U a Drank" (with Yung Joc) and "Bartender" (with Akon), took star turns on Ludacris' "One More Drink" and Jamie Foxx's "Blame It," and also proudly showed off his diamond-encrusted liquor chains on DJ Khaled's clip for "Welcome to My Hood." But he's also the dude who made a fortune off an app, turned Auto-Tune to trap, and sidled up alongside the likes of Flo Rida, Pitbull, and Kanye (with whom he won a Grammy). And one doesn't rise to those kinda heights when they're drunk.
Drinking songs have gotten T-Pain drunk, though -- drunk with power, fame, money, and the sorta self-confidence some people would kill to have. But his business is all about fun, and one gets the impression that however many bottles may have been consumed, at the end of the night, he and his crew have had a blast.
New Times reached the master mixologist in Atlanta during rehearsals for the pending tour (which hits Revolution on Tuesday, August 12), and the chat was nothing but laughs.
New Times: Word is you just slayed 'em at Light in Vegas with Baauer just last week.
T-Pain: Man, we had fun out there. We killed it. Baauer put on a helluva performance. And the whole place blew up.
Have you got more of that kinda action on tap?
Actually, the Light Group's talkin' 'bout giving me a residency. I did House of Pain at Haze with them about a year ago; maybe next time we'll keep the show going for a while.
Why are you kicking off your Drankin Patna Tour in O-Town?
Seemed like the right place. It's centrally located, and I'm a Floridian, so...
Why not start in Miami and work your way up?
'Cause it's too far from Tallahassee. [laughs]
Gotcha. How's this onslaught different from the I Am T-Pain Tour?
It's a lot more T-Pain, which sounds kinda weird, but it is. It's nothing but T-Pain. We're gonna go chronologically from 2005 to 2014.
Like a greatest-hits show?
Exactly. We had a helluva time getting the list down, but we did it. And we're in rehearsals now. It's gonna be sick.
So you've got a full band this time out?
I've got a band, DJs, backup singers, backup dancers, rappers. We got it all covered.
You're not fuckin' around, are you?
Who's your ideal "Drinkin Patna" anyway?
So far, my wife is the only person who can keep up with me. She's acquired some of my skills over the years.
She acquired yours or you acquired hers?
Both. She's probably more of an alcoholic than I am.
How long have you two been together.
We've been together for 13 years.
Wow! That's fantastic! In the game that in itself is like a Top 10 record!
[laughs] Yeah, a lotta people don't last that long, especially in this business.
The fact that you have lasted that long is one thing, but that you and her have both lasted that long makes it even more amazing.
You really are flipping the script, aren't you?
Yeah, I'm tearing it up. I told you I was one kill-crazy motherfucker.
Let me find out you're gonna go country next.
I have. You haven't heard my remix of "Beachin" by Jake Owens? I'm also on the Luke Bryan remix for "That's My Kind of Night."
I should have fucking known. There isn't a genre out there that you won't conquer. How stupid of me.
[laughs] Yeah, I had to go kill it in the country world for a while; now I'm back killing it in the hip-hop world.
So is there gonna be T-Pain versus Beethoven sometime down the line?
I might, man. I might. I might get into some gypsy shit. Who knows?
How bout T-Pain versus Beethoven backed by some Atlanta gypsies and mixed by Skrillex?
I can have that for you next week. [laughs]
I believe you.
Speaking of songs, how's it feel to have "Up Down" edging toward the top?
I really thought the song would be way the fuck gone by now. But it's lasted a lot longer than I expected. It was just supposed to be a club record, something to say "I'm back making music, everybody. Here we go." And it went Top 10. I don't know what the fuck is going on with that song.
Yeah, it feels fucking fantastic!
You think you've got a lock on the top spot?
I don't know, man; I'm moving on to "Drankin Patna" now, and we've got the tour. I think "Drankin Patna" will go to number one. You know, it's kind of a sequel to "Buy U a Drank," which of course was one of my biggest songs.
Big is right. How does it feel going number one?
Well, it's normal now. I mean, it's happened so many times. [laughs] I'd like to keep it happening.
So there's more after "Patna"?
Oh yeah, I've got a couple of internet tracks I'm about to drop. And there's a "Up Down" remix by aColor War.
How 'bout outside of T-Pain solo?
I've got a Yung Joc record, something with Wale, and they basically put me in charge of the Fast & Furious 7 soundtrack, Waka Flocka. I'm across the board.
You most certainly are -- and have been. If you had to wish list one act in all the world to collide with, who would it be?
I have no idea, man. She's just amazing. Her harmonies and her arrangements and her ability; her vocal ability is just off the charts.
T-Pain. Drankin Patna Tour with Bando Jonez and Snootie Wild. 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 12, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $26 in advance plus fees and $28 day of show. Call 954-449-1025, or visit jointherevolution.net.
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