T-Pain can buy Us a drank anytime. The “Turn All the Lights On” singer, 29, who helped popularize the use of auto-tune as an instrument, stopped by NPR’s All Things Considered this week and gave an utterly charming performance for the program’s Tiny Desk Concert series. Accompanied by a friend on keyboard, he sang three songs, including his hit “Buy U a Drank” — and he did them all without his trademark auto-tune.
“I know everybody’s wondering where the auto-tune is gonna come from — it’s okay, I got it in my pocket, it’s totally fine,” he joked in his intro. “I got it right here, it’s surgically inserted.”
Stripped of any electronic voice distortion, “Buy U a Drank” was almost romantic, more of a ballad than a club jam. T-Pain himself sounded incredible, despite his repeated insistence that it was “weird as hell” to be performing in an office surrounded by bookshelves and desks.
The rapper went on to sing two more songs, “Up Down (Do This All Day)” and “Drankin’ Patna.” In between each performance, he joked around with the gathered crowd, laughing and swiveling around on his stool.
As NPR notes, T-Pain wasn’t the first musician to use auto-tune to distort his voice, but he is among the most famous for it. “People felt like I was using it to sound good,” he told All Things Considered. “But I was just using it to sound different.”
Watch T-Pain’s acoustic performance above!
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!