T-Pain – real name Faheem Rasheed Najm – is to release his fourth studio album ‘rEVOLVEr’ next month, which will feature the Lily Allen and Wiz Khalifa assisted track ‘5 O’clock’ plus guest appearances from the likes of Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Ne-Yo.
The record will be the singer’s last with Konvict Records and TaleTela caught up with the Florida native for a quick chat about his relationship with the record labels founder Akon, working with Brown and Lily Allen’s reaction to the sampling of her track…
How do you think you’ve changed as a musician since your debut LP Rappa Ternt Sanga?
Oh man (laughs) I am definitely much better now (laughs) I go back and listen to my older music and I can just tell that I have gotten way better.
In any specific ways?
I think I take more risks now, I know music a little better now – I don’t think that I have reached my peak yet but I definitely know music a lot better now.
What your working relationship like with Chris Brown, how is it working with him?
It’s always great man, he is the only person I work with who is close to my age so it’s always fun because we are always joking around all the time. Every time we are in the studio it is just a bunch of laughs.
So what is your current situation with Young Money Records?
I was gonna go through that whole thing but I just stopped it right in the middle – I felt like I needed more time before I got into the whole Young Money thing. It wasn’t the right time for me so I just stepped back for a little bit. I’m trying to get myself together first and then I will go back to that situation.
Is Young Money Entertainment the best record company in the world right now?
They definitely have the best rapper on their label (laughs) I will say that. (Laughs) they definitely have that going on for them and they just keep getting bigger and bigger more people keep signing on so they could very well turn out to be the best label – ever.
Are you a Lily Allen fan?
Do you listen to her stuff a lot?
Not all the time, but there have been times in the studio when I introduce her stuff to someone that doesn’t know her and we’ll have a little listening session.
Do you have any favourite tracks of hers?
I think ‘Who’d Have Known’ would be my favourite track (laughs)
Of course, you sampled it in your track ‘5 O’Clock’. Has she contacted you about it – what does she think of the track?
She loves it. The second that she heard it on Radio One, she almost crapped her pants (laughs). She is always emailing my managers about how much she loves it and how glad she is that I used it. She loves it.
This will be your last record on Akon’s Konvict Music before you part ways, what is your relationship like with him now?
It’s better, it’s better now. We communicate a lot more and we work together a lot more. I see him more, I’m still Konvict ‘till the death so…I guess we all work out things the way that they should work out.
Has your departure been amicable, has there been any friction?
Not at all, it was in the contract so we already expected that I would be leaving – we just keep things pushing. Everybody’s got to do their thing, now it’s time for me to follow on from Akon’s footsteps and make Nappy Boy Entertainment just like Konvict Music, y’know?
We saw you performing at the last Black Eyed Peas concert, what was that experience like?
That stage was really big (laughs) that stage was really big so it was kinda hard to do but it was fun, it was fun doing that I am glad that I was a part of it. It was just a huge day and that’s all I can remember… and running out of breath every two seconds.
What do you think about the Black Eyed Peas’ indefinite break up?
They do this all the time, it’s gonna be like four years and then they will drop another massive album – I guarantee it. That’s what’s gonna happen, they can’t leave this music thing alone, they can’t stop doing this. They have been touring non-stop for like four years so I think they deserve to take a break. I know Fergie wants to go and start a family and all that stuff, and that’s pretty important rather than just getting money and having a career.