Jacking sounds is nothing new in the world of hip-hop. Hell, even the most replayed song of 2015, Hotline Bling, has been accused of jacking the sound of an original D.R.A.M track. Drake‘s dancing aside, things get a little more contentious when a classic album is hit with the same accusations. 808’s & Heartbreaks, while certainly a polarising album, has asserted Kanye West‘s eagerness to experiment with the genre and his overall sound, and accustomed our ears to the world of auto-tune, a concept that has yet to leave the rap game, but it seems not everyone holds it in such high esteem.
T-Pain, who is undoubtedly renowned for his own auto-tune accomplishments, has recently reemerged from the depths of hip-hop obscurity to tell Billboard that Mr West blatantly copied the sound of his debut album, Rappa Ternt Sanga.
“None of this whole sound of music and it’s not even just rap and R&B — it’s going into pop and techno and dubstep and everything. It’s all kinda came from me. I’m seeing cartoons using Auto-Tune.”
“”I would say as recent as [Kanye West’s] 808s & Heartbreaks, which was a direct copy of Rappa Ternt Sanga,” T-Pain says. “I’m not just being a dick saying that shit sounds a lot like mine. Like literally [Kanye] told me that he listened to Rappa Ternt Sanga and he made 808s & Heartbreaks. He even brought me in to make it sound more like Rappa Ternt Sanga.”
Pretty big claim right there. Although you can’t argue with T-Pain as he continues, noting that the sound certainly hasn’t gone away; rappers such as Future have made a career from the presence of auto-tune.
“Something that I did that was directly copied got so many awards — that’s evidence right there. Rappa Ternt Sanga is still relevant because the sound is still prevalent in the whole industry. It’s never gonna stop.”
While T-Pain brought us some classic tracks from his debut album (namely In Luv Wit a Strippa), it is hard to compare the two projects. 808’s serves as a chilling and experimental insight into Kanye’s musical world, while T-Pain’s album is a little more on the glamorous and ritzy side of things. Unfortunately for us, we will probably never know what went on in the studio as the masterpiece that is 808’s was crafted.