Did you know the before Atlanta was cool and had a TV show to that effect, there was T-Pain who was basically repping the whole South in the interim between the downfall of OutKast and the rise of “Crank That (Soulja Boy)”? Nowadays, a T-Pain feature is somewhere in between the two, too prolific to have the wow-factor of André Benjamin’s occasional drops of soul but not as much as an eyeroll as Soulja Boy on that throwaway Nikki track.
Now he’s, sort of, on a Cardi B joint. Trap music, “Bodak Yellow” was fake-trap and her follow-up managed to double down by bringing along both 21 Savage and a Mike Will-affiliate for legitimacy, is about creating space, unfussy minor chords that tease the possibility of anyone rolling into the studio and making their case. T-Pain’s case is, well, that he still has one. Like Dre did before him, T-Pain uses this space to enunciate the various things that he is still capable of doing. Still making deals, still grinding on women, etc. Which begs the question: where does he find the time to do all that and still lie in bed with his wife every night and look at cats?