Music » Music Stories

T-Pain

Epiphany (Jive)

by

comment
The epiphany T-Pain experienced prior to recording his sophomore album seems to have been this: If I keep on emulating my mentor, Akon, I will sell a shitload of records. That's hardly an earth-shattering realization, but at least it's accurate. Epiphany recently debuted at No. 1 with a sound even more indebted to Akon's softcore thuggery than the Tallahassee singer's 2005 debut, Rappa Ternt Sanga. He has sugared his crunk-and-B to fructose levels common to Radio Disney. In fact, the heavily processed vocal hooks allow lesser revelations, like the jiggly, X-rated pleasures of "Yo Stomach," to slide right on past. Ironically, the thing that keeps this disc from being just another slick throwaway with a couple of fun singles is also T-Pain's greatest weakness: the love for melodrama he shares with Akon (and his other obvious influence, the noted videographer R. Kelly). He has yet to harness his over-the-top tendencies, but the misplaced ambition of odes like "Suicide" and the HIV-positive scenario "I Got It" suggests the possibility of real epiphanies in the future.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.