On Thursday (November 9), T-Pain was a guest on Everyday Struggle, joining Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks and Nadeska to discuss his place in the Auto-Tune pantheon, the art of manufacturing hit singles and his forthcoming album, Oblivion, which is scheduled for release on November 17.
During the hour-long interview, the 32-year-old veteran pulled back the curtain on his experience with RCA Records—the label he's been signed to through Akon's Konvict imprint since 2005—blaming them for picking the wrong singles and for telling the entire label that he was "crazy" after he expressed frustration over their decisions.
"Every single I picked, every fucking single I picked, went Platinum. Every single I picked! When I stopped picking my singles, and they told me, 'Yo, you was wrong this one time.' I picked a single just to put out, it was for Tallahassee or some shit like that, and they were like, 'It didn't work worldwide, so how about we pick the next one.' The second they started picking singles, downhill," T-Pain said.
To make matters worse, Pain claims that the label not only ran with the wrong records to radio but they also pilfered material from his Nappy Boy artists.
"They took a record that I wrote for one of my artists, a group I had [named] One Chance. I wrote a record for them, it was a smash for them, they took the record from them, put the shit out, I got negative spins on the radio. I ain't never seen that shit in my life," Pain added. "That shit started really hurting me."
Major labels have a long history of ripping material away from lesser known or newly-signed acts on their roster and handing it over to bigger names who they believe have a better chance of turning that material into a smash, but as an artist and label owner, it nonetheless had to be extremely frustrating.
Pain would eventually express his frustration directly with the RCA executives who he felt were doing his career harm and, in the end, that put him in an even bigger hole. "I started flipping out every day, they started telling the whole building I was crazy," Pain said. "I made my new album in 2011, invited the whole label to my house to listen the album, everybody talking over my shit."
Artists throwing their labels under the bus isn't exactly breaking news, but Pain's decision to open up about his tenure with RCA Records while he's still signed to them (and a week before his album drop) is certainly a refreshing change of pace.
For Pain, hopefully, he's back in charge of what the singles are this time around.