- Release date:
- November 11, 2008
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The buzz: Tallahassee, Florida-born “rapper turned singer” Faheem Rasheed Najm, a.k.a. T-Pain, has had the pop music golden touch lately with both his own songs and guest appearances on hits by Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Kanye West and Flo Rida, among others. His Auto-Tuned vocals hearken back to the vocoded sounds of Zapp and Roger (and later, Cher) and could be the most highly emulated technique in music at the moment. “Thr33 Ringz,” his third LP, sports a circus theme in which T-Pain imagines himself as the ringleader of the music industry.
The verdict: Although it's flashier and less substantive than last year’s “Epiphany,” “Ringz” still delivers memorable hits like “Can’t Believe It” with Lil Wayne and “Freeze” with Chris Brown. T-Pain turns off the Auto-Tune effect in “Keep Going” to prove that he actually can sing, and it would be nice to hear more of this natural tone; perhaps it's something that will make increased appearances on future outings. The disc's skits are unnecessary—an attempt at having a comedic element that doesn’t work. Instead, T-Pain's best wit comes to life in the double entendre of “Chopped N Skrewed” with Ludacris, and “Karaoke,” in which he raps a friendly attack at all of the artists trying to steal his style.
Did you know? T-Pain was filling out an application to work at his local McDonald's on the day he got the phone call that led to his record deal.