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T-Pain’s “OBLiViON” [Album Review]

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Photo Credit: @tpain Instagram

It’s been almost six years since “Rappa Ternt Sanga” T-Pain has released a complete body of new work. Since he burst onto the scene with a (once) unique mechanism, many artists have muscled their way into his own lane. T-Pain isn’t an artist who fits in. His entire rise was based on how unique his sound was compared to the climate. There was a period of time between 2005 and 2011 where Pain could do no wrong. But after Jay-Z delivered, “D.O.A.,” nothing was quite the same. The aftermath was a slow decline for someone previously thought to be musically immortal. Even post-D.O.A., a whole new generation of artists have blurred the lines between rap and R&B and others, such as Ty Dolla $ign and Travis Scott, have seemed to pick up the Auto-Tuned torch in his absence.

 

But, the modern-day godfather of the rhythm-and-blues voice enhancement is back.

2017 has been a gradual reintroduction for T-Pain, and it has all led up to OBLiViON, his fifth studio album and first full-length project in six years.

 

In the same case with his past projects, OBLiViON scores points with incredible production and quality guest features. The album includes features from Ty Dolla $ign, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown. Tiffany Evans, Mr. TalkBox, Manny G, Wale, Black Youngsta, and Roberto Cacciapaglia.

Out of the gate, he stakes his dominance on “Who Died,” which is a clear message to his detractors. “I hit Billboard with a baseball bat, hit after hit,” he raps melodically before exclaiming “these n****s tryin’ to erase all that.”

Oblivion is a good re-introduction, but it’s lengthy. 17 tracks equate to over an hour of music and far too much is fat for today’s short attention span that doesn’t capture you within the first few seconds that equate to a Vine video. Yet, often times, just hearing T-Pain rap and sing is a joyous experience. He’s always been an artist who gives you music for after the work hours are over, for when you’re with your girlfriend or texting an ex, for the strip club or the route to get a drink. The basis of his musical landscape is to romanticize the mundane. Oblivion’s best moments are when Pain is at his most comfortable or his most daring.

This album is a landmark for the second wind of his career, but what’s most important is what he does from here. T-Pain is now the master of his universe, a genius in his own right who has dominated the world once. Oblivion isn’t perfect, but it is good enough to make me believe that he can dominate once again. Fans of T-Pain will find that his fifth go-around is a quality cure for their six-year itch. One thing can be said for the rapper/singer: he never under-delivers.

Written by: @happyfeetjones


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