Producer Series Mix #11: Nappy Boy Productions

1. Chris Brown f/ T-Pain - "Kiss Kiss"
2. T-Pain f/ Shawnna - "Backseat Action" (mp3)
3. Lil Mama f/ Chris Brown and T-Pain - "Shawty Get Loose"
4. T-Pain - "Church"
5. Charlie Wilson f/ T-Pain - "Supa Sexxy"
6. T-Pain - "Calm The Fuck Down" (mp3)
7. T-Pain f/ Trick Daddy and YoungBloodZ - "I'm Sprung 2"
8. Ciara f/ T-Pain - "Go Girl"
9. T-Pain f/ Mike Jones - "I'm N Luv (Wit A Stripper)"
10. T-Pain f/ Tay Dizm - "Dance Floor" (mp3)
11. Ray L - "My Girl Gotta Girlfriend"
12. T-Pain f/ Styles P. - "I'm Hi" (mp3)
13. Foxx f/ T-Pain - "Bounce"
14. T-Pain f/ Ludacris - "Chopped 'N Skrewed"
15. T-Pain f/ Akon - "Bartender"
16. Bow Wow & Omarion - "He Ain't Gotta Know" (mp3)
17. T-Pain f/ Yung Joc - "Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin')"
18. T-Pain - "Sounds Bad"
19. T-Pain - "Fly Away"

With the release of T-Pain's third album, Thr33 Ringz, just a few weeks away, I thought it'd be interesting to look at his work as a producer. The narrative of his career so far has been that of the Rappa Ternt Sanga, just another Southern MC who decided to record some R&B songs on a lark, caught a hit with it, became a go-to guy for hooks, and set off a widespread trend of Autotuned vocals. But he's been somewhat unheralded for a third skill set, considering that he's produced the entirety of his albums, and a large number of the singles he's been featured on (although a lot of the more generic tracks he's had hits with, like "Low" or "Cyclone" or "Got Money" aren't his, which is a plus in the talent column). And though I think a lot of people realize he's a producer and writer by this point, I don't know if he's really gotten his due on that front yet. If someone came out in the past couple years with the variety and number of beats on big hits that he's done in the past couple years, but wasn't also a perfomer, they'd be compared to Timbaland's recent work, or at least considered a peer of newer super producers like Polow Da Don.

And the amazing thing really is the variety. Considering we're talking about a guy who took a particular vocal gimmick, and shamelessly ran it into the ground on almost every song he's done, he doesn't lean on certain drum or synth sounds the way many producers do. There's a few recurring motifs, but for the most part he doesn't repeat himself much at all. Even the songs I don't particularly like, like "Shawty Get Loose" (because of Chris Brown's Yankvovic-esque vocal tone) or "Buy U A Drank" (just plain annoying even by snap song standards) have some pretty nifty production touches. And unlike his buddy Akon, who also produces a lot of his own hits, T-Pain doesn't appear to have any kind of production partner or assistant who might be quietly putting in a lot of the legwork, it seems to be all him. Aside from an album track here or there, or the T-Pain song that was given to labelmate Ray Lavender for a single, he doesn't seem to produce many songs without also appearing on them. But given the overexposure he's had in the past year or two, I'm kind of hoping he eventually takes a little break from the spotlight and focuses on the beats; he could follow the path took a couple years ago, and do some harder beats for album tracks on a few A-list rappers' albums, and start to get some of the respect he might have already if he wasn't also clowning around in a top hat on TV all day every day.

Previously in the Producer Series:
#1: Shondrae "Bangladesh" Crawford
#2: Rich Harrison
#3: Kevin "Khao" Cates
#4: Chad Wes Hamilton
#5: Neo Da Matrix
#6: Carl "Chucky" Thompson
#7: Polow Da Don
#8: No I.D.
#9: Bink!
#10: The TrackBoyz
« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

this song off of thr33 ringz called "digital" (supposedly the third single) has this same kind of keyboard beat as " go girl" which maybe shows where he's headed with this album and his beats in the future

(that's a verse, chorus and then a minute or so of the instrumental)

the three leaks off of thr33 ringz definitely seem to indicate that the beats on this are going to be way more synthesized and digital. doesn't seem like there will be anything like "church" or "calm the fuck down" or "dance floor" or even something as airy as "bartender". i'm not necessarily mad at that development if it holds up because lots of my favorite beats of his are the really keyboard heavy ones ("buy u a drank" for instance).

also wrt akon, i guess pain will always be tied to him (esp. by people [like my rockist friends] who only pay mild attention to pop), but akon is like on stargate-levels of being a hack (and i really like lots of his songs). im sure my "akon=hack" argument isn't breaking any ground but i totally accepted it after the "i'm so paid" beat ended up being "don't matter pt. 2"
"Digital" is pretty good, I hope that really is the 3rd single instead of "Freeze." I don't know if I see as much of a divide between his synthy beats and the ones with samples or more traditional keyboard sounds, but I kinda see what you mean. I think he does both pretty well, right now "Supa Sexxy" is probably my favorite beat on this mix and that's a great synth showcase. I just hope he does more stuff with big big drums like "Backseat Action," sometimes his percussion can be a little tame.

I don't really give Akon much thought at all, productionwise or otherwise. His beats are a little more varied than his hooks, but his hooks are about as formulaic and cookie-cutter as 50 Cent's, so that's not really saying much.
Post a Comment