Jay-Z took aim at the overuse of Auto-Tune with his new song "D.O.A.," and although he claimed [artist id="1998098"]T-Pain[/artist] wasn't a target, the Brooklyn MC admitted he wasn't sure how the computer-aided crooner would take his track.
"If T-Pain got to feel a little brunt behind that, then I'm cool with that," he said Monday afternoon (June 8) in an interview with New York radio station Hot 97. "I'm all about the culture. It's bigger than the politics. If T-Pain felt like he wanted to never talk to me again, I would have been cool with that."
T-Pain, however, stood by [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] in solidarity the day before when the rapper took to the Summer Jam stage in New Jersey.
The Roc-A-Fella rapper said he was caught off guard by the unplanned gesture. "That was crazy, 'cause I didn't know where he came from," Jay told Hot 97's Angie Martinez. "I remember the concert [artist id="1225081"]T.I.[/artist] had, and [artist id="860639"]50 Cent[/artist] went onstage. That wasn't planned — same thing!
"I look, and I see somebody to my right, and I swear I thought it was a fan coming up to me to hug me," Jay continued. " 'Cause I didn't see who it was. I thought it was some cool, rock-star stuff. And then I saw him move again, and I looked back. I guess [T-Pain] wanted to get close to me."
In "D.O.A.," which stands for "Death of Auto-Tune," Jay called for more real rap. He said Auto-Tune has resulted in softer music within hip-hop and unnecessary crooning. But in an interview with Hot 97 on Friday, the night of the song's premiere, Jay made a point to compliment T-Pain for his use, admonishing the copycats.
Still, he said, the unplanned moment he and T-Pain shared onstage was strange, if not thrilling.
"It was a little awkward, but it was cool," Jay said. "He didn't mean any harm. He's just embracing the record. You shouldn't be confused by the message. I'm not saying Auto-Tune is wack. But leave that for them [T-Pain, [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist] and [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist], the artists Jay said used it artistically]; it's not for everybody. That's how you stagnate hip-hop. You listen to the radio, and every single has Auto-Tune. So we have to get rid of that part."
Though Kanye, the song's co-producer, and DJs like Funkmaster Flex and Mister Cee sided with Jay-Z, not everyone was onboard. Some younger rappers haven't supported Jay-Z's anti-Auto-Tune crusade.
Harlem, New York's DJ Webstar, who had a hit using Auto-Tune with his song "Dancing on Me," Tweeted about "D.O.A." and his thoughts on Jay. "Who heard old ass Jay Z hating?" the youngster wrote.
[artist id="1796387"]Jim Jones[/artist] also took aim at Jay on Twitter. "An old sucka, LOL," Jones Tweeted. "We back, and if he kilt Auto-Tune then we must be Easter, the resurrection, LOL."