‘King of Autotune’ and 2000s icon T-Pain has recently come under scrutiny for cracking a joke about Drake on his Nappy Boy radio podcast, declaring that he has taken over concerning the production of “simp music.”
In a conversation with Rob Markman, the Tallahassee singer (real name Faheem Najm) reflected on some of his older material and his somewhat pessimistic outlook on romance and finding love. Reflecting on his hefty discography, Najm highlighted how so many of his most beloved songs focus on his emotional dysfunctionality, longing for women and inability to find love. However, he insisted he has grown since then and has no desire to return to those subject matters in his music.
Looking back with humility and even laughing at his prior self, Najm comically admitted, “I had zero confidence in any of my music. I was always the simp, remember? I was always the n***a that didn’t have any confidence that anything could happen at all, I was always wishing for a girl.” Drawing attention to some of his most well-known songs, the Tallahassee vocalist drew attention to ‘I’m Sprung,’ ‘I’m In Luv (Wit a Stripper),’ “and ‘Bartender’ as some of the tracks on which he dwells in his romantic sorrows. Delving into his genuine fixation, Najm recalled, “‘I’m Sprung,’ that was about me simping to hell. First real simp joint. ‘I’m In Love With A Stripper’ – never said I ever got her. Just said I liked her a bunch. ‘Bartender’ – never took her anywhere. She was just a bartender. Never said we f*cked or anything. Just me simping from afar.”
Expressing that he believes vulnerability is necessary in hip-hop, T-Pain’s guest Rob Markman stated, “I think we need that back in music, though.” To which Najm responded, “Simpin’? Nah, I think Drake got it covered.” Some could regard Najm’s response as backhanded and a tad snide. However, for the most part, fans responding to the podcast seemed to find his statement quite humourous. Posting a snippet of the conversation to his Instagram after the interview, fans shared a range of opinions in the comments section. @T-PainOne highlighted how T-pain’s music was refreshing as, in the mid-2000s, “most other dudes always rapped or sang about already having the woman and doing whatever to her and moving on to the next. Pain songs had a sort of, pining comfortability about them. Like, it was cool to actually have crushes and fall for someone you didn’t necessarily have, but that admiration gave you either confidence or purpose.”
T-Pain has been reflecting on his musical journey since the release of his latest project, on which he covers various artists who have inspired his music, including acts such as Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, Journey and Black Sabbath, among others. Entitled On Top Of The Covers, T-Pain expressed that this latest body of work reflects his musical identity outside of autotune, proclaiming, “Each one of these songs means something to me and helped me fall in love with music at different points in my life. I’m releasing this covers album from the view of what I hear when I listen to each song.” You can hear Najm’s humourous conversation with Rob Markman in the video below.