When it comes to knowing what to sing on hooks, T-Pain's word has been the gospel for singers and rappers alike the past couple of years. However, a recent track of his had gospel-music fans thinking he lost his mind.
A Pain cut called "Silver and Gold" leaked to the Internet a few months back, with the Tallahassee, Florida, native singing about the effects of blending clear and colored Patrón tequila together for consumption. "You'll be hanging, swanging, drinking two types of Patrón," he sings. "I done mixed up silver and gold/ I done mixed up silver and gold/ I'mma tryin' to get drunk before this party/ Somebody's gonna have to carry me home/ I done drank the silver and gold."
While Pain's following ate it up, non-secular-music kingpin Kirk Franklin had to put a call into the young singer. Franklin debuted the original "Silver and Gold" on his 1993 Kirk Franklin and the Family album. The gospel version goes: "Silver and gold/ Silver and gold/ I'd rather have Jesus than silver and gold/ No fame or fortune/ Nor riches untold/ I'd rather have Jesus than silver and gold."
"It was never supposed to be on my album," Pain said Tuesday in the MTV News office, wearing a purple top hat and matching shirt. "The record, it got leaked, then me and Kirk Franklin had to talk. He was doing most of the talking. He was saying it wasn't no disrespect. He was saying he knows how songs get leaked. He had it happen to him before. He said he wasn't a saint, and it wasn't like he never did nothing wrong. It's not like [Kirk] said I did something wrong. He said if I was gonna go with it, just change the melody. 'You can still say silver and gold.' He's got a lot of people saying stuff to him: 'How could you let T-Pain destroy a gospel song like that? How could let him talk about alcohol?' I wasn't even doing it for a mixtape or nothing. I was literally drinking and made a song. I was bored in the studio. There was nothing else to do. I made it into an alcoholic anthem, which wasn't good."
Pain said that the first day "Silver and Gold" was leaked, 400,000 people had downloaded it. By then, it was too late. It even caused him some dilemmas.
"It spread so fast," he said. "Everybody thought it was the first single. Somebody was putting it out as 'the first single off of T-Pain's new album Pain or Pleasure.' Somebody was just making up an album name just so they can put it out. That's why my album isn't coming out on [my] birthday no more, because I had to push it back. We had to stop that song."
Pain and his record company sent out cease-and-desist orders to put "Silver and Gold" on permanent pause, but its popularity was even greater than Pain's official first single, "Can't Believe It," during its initial launch.
"That pushed the single back, then we had to push the album back," Pain said. " 'Can't Believe It' was getting overtaken by 'Silver and Gold.' It was just a lot."
"Can't Believe It," which features Lil Wayne, is soaring off the ground now. The video just came out, and it gives us a glimpse into Pain's playfully diabolical mind. The clip features scary-looking clowns who just want to have fun and dance, expensive trips to Aspen and "Wiscansin" and women who can contort their bodies.
"It was all green-screen," Pain explained. "I just came up with it, man. I kinda stole some stuff from the last iTunes commercial. I got the same people to direct it. ... I was like, 'If we can find those people to direct my next video, it will be the best video.' I already knew, just the way I see things.
"We just did a bunch of takes," he added. "Nothing has to be organized. We was like, 'We gonna do it and then see what we got outta that.' It just all came together. It took eight hours. A bunch of takes, six outfits. And the song ain't even four minutes. [The song] is basically a perspective of not settling for what you doing. You can be doing better. Even if you think you're at the peak of your career, you're at the top, it's something else you can be doing. Don't settle into what you been pretty much forced into doing."
Pain's Thr33 Ringz comes out October 28, right in time for Halloween.