Arts & Entertainment

Rapper T-Pain Shines as an Acoustic Artist

Sai CheekireddyT-Pain impressed with his stripped down vocals at the Bottom Lounge. Sai Cheekireddy

Rap artist T-Pain is on the verge of a second come-up as an acoustic singer. The Tallahassee, Florida native’s 2017 acoustic tour stopped by Chicago with a mesmerizing performance at The Bottom Lounge (1375 W. Lake St.). Fans of the auto-tune star filled the warehouse style venue to listen to T-Pain’s new and improved sound.  

New York band Boathouse kicked off the concert with some alternative rock. The style felt somewhat out of place amidst the hip-hop backdrop, but the band still succeeded in riling the crowd up and preparing them for the second opener, Smino.

The St. Louis rapper has been touring alongside T-Pain and mentioned that he considers him an older brother acting as a friend and mentor throughout his climb to fame. Smino’s debut album, “blkswn” (pronounced Black Swan), received widespread acclaim and was the main source of content for his performance. His music is a cross between R&B and hip-hop, similar to Chance the Rapper. Background singers added to the soul factor of the performance, while Smino screamed into the crowd, demanding to hear Chicago make some noise.

Sai CheekireddySmino proved why he’s an exciting rising star in the hip-hop scene. Sai Cheekireddy

Smino’s riveting performance set the bar for T-Pain, who swaggered onto the stage sporting a Chicago Cubs jersey bearing his name. He held an ornate chalice, which he said was filled with liquor, as he took a seat in front of the microphone and immediately introduced himself to the audience, telling them that he’ll be sitting for the majority of the show because he was “probably too drunk to walk.”

T-Pain’s laughter was contagious as he provided commentary between songs about how his day was and how he was feeling, often snickering at himself or his band members. The show continued with acoustic performances of popular songs such as “Buy U A Drank,” and “Dan Bilzerian.” T-Pain was still able to rock the crowd without help of auto-tune, proving that he’s just as talented as a singer.

The rapper has an amazing singing voice, but fans didn’t get to hear it until late 2015 when he performed an acoustic Tiny Desk concert as part of NPR’s series featuring artists in a space the size of a medium sized office. Longtime fans were shocked to discover T-Pain’s real voice, and demanded more. He announced his Acoustic Tour in August, which kicked off in San Francisco and will end on Oct. 30th, in Washington, D.C.

The success of T-Pain’s new style has opened many doors for him, revitalizing his career as a musician. His latest auto-tune single, “Goal Line,” can be found on Spotify and iTunes.

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