‘I Was Done with Life’: T-Pain Recalls Writing a Jay-Z Diss Track After Feeling Targeted by the Rapper’s Death of Auto-Tune Record

T-Pain is an artist and he is sensitive about his … music. 

It is an omission he has publicly spoken about when stating that a comment from industry peer Usher sent him spiraling into a four-year depression. But in a recent interview with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN for “Drink Champs,” T-Pain revealed he also has felt attacked by rapper Jay-Z.

T-Pain says rapper Jay-Z’s record “D.O.A.” (Death Of Auto Tune) felt like a personal attack when it came out in 2009. (PHOTO: Drink Champs/YouTube)

In 2009, Jay-Z released his 11th studio album, “The Blue Print 3.” One of the records that sparked controversy was “D.O.A.” (Death Of Auto Tune) where HOV took aim at rappers being soft and the overuse of melodies.

At the time, T-Pain was at the top of his game with hit record after hit record after hit record. Each one carried by a catchy melody and the use of Auto-Tune. His use of the audio processor gave him a sound that set him apart from popular artists during that era, and started a musical trend of heavily Auto-Tuned records across genres. 

HOV’s perceived diss track struck a visceral nerve with the “I’m Sprung” artist who felt called out by the lyrics:

This is anti auto tune, death of the ring-tone/ This ain’t for iTunes, this ain’t for singalongs…

Y’all n——s singing too much/ Get back to rap you T-Paining to much

“I’m the face of this,” said T-Pain on Aug. 7. “Just like Lil Yachty was the face of mumble rap — anytime somebody talk about mumble rap, Lil Yachty was the first person to come up. I was the face of Auto-Tune,” he explained.

“So, when you say Auto-Tune is wack, I’m the face. If I would have said f——n blue Yankees are terrible, everybody woulda been like ‘Oh you dissin’ Jay-Z now?’ Anytime Jay says something is wack, it’s trash.”

The two-time Grammy winner said he was so bothered that he even began penning a response to “D.O.A.”

“I did. It was going to be the intro to my next album. I was also drunk so that didn’t help. I was real into myself at the time.” He went on to reveal that the moment compounded with other factors led him to experience suicidal ideation. “Like I was like really drunk, it was the end. I was like, I was like ready to go. I was ready to be done. I was done with life.”

Music fans, however, are split in their perception of “D.O.A.” being a diss to T-Pain or other artists who bit the Florida-native’s sound.

“‘D.O.A.’ wasn’t a T-Pain dis though. It was a diss to people biting T-Pain whole style.”

“I mean was Jay-Z wrong tho…T-Pain was the king of auto tune…that was his lane and he perfected it. Made a lot of classics and a tone of money off it! 🤷🏽‍♂️“

“I’m just saying that D.O.A. was a direct attack on T-Pain. He was just making hits and providing the golden touch to any and every remix.”

Others couldn’t care less about “D.O.A.”, and instead were glad a T-Pain vs Jay-Z “Ether” never was.

“Bad idea HOV would destroy him in 1 bar”

“Good thing he didn’t drop it. It would’ve set the industry on fire 😭😭”

As for Jay’s take on things, he said in 2009 the record was not a diss to T-Pain, but instead a memo for other artists to move away from the use of Auto-Tune.

“The guys who did it, did it great. T-Pain, he does great melodies. If you listen to Kanye, great melodies. If you listen to [West’s] ‘Say You Will’ or ‘Heartless,’ great melodies. [Lil Wayne and T-Pain’s] ‘Lollipop’ was a fantastic melody,” he explained while on Hot 97. “Everybody can’t do it. Let them guys do it. They got their little niche, let’s move on. That’s just my opinion. I don’t know if everybody feels the same way.”

Back to top