You probably don’t much about T-Pain, the Auto-Tune-loving musician who used to hide under signature top hats. But he went on NPR and performed sans vocal distortion and was awesome; people dug his March mixtape The Iron Way Home; he chilled with EW at SXSW; and the title track from his next album, Stoicville: The Phoenix, wrought destruction on haters with the unexpectedly moving video and track. It’s a new side of T-Pain few expected out of the guy who sang the hook on “Low.”
You can get an even deeper look at the singer with a 20-minute documentary released Wednesday by WorldStarHipHop. Bigger Than Pain briefly documents T-Pain’s life and is intertwined with interviews and footage from his 2014 tour during its United Kingdom leg. It’s contradictory to his art to see Pain sitting in his bus after shows and not partying (Pain: “I don’t do the s— that people think that we do.”).
Seeing his pre-concert intensity was the second gem. “I don’t do this s— for the check. I did this s— for nine years before I got 1 cent out of it,” he tells his crewmembers. “No matter what I do, even if I fail completely, I got a higher passion for this. … If I fail completely, this is it for me.”
Also jarring: someone who has a pair of Grammys and enough top-10 hits to coast the rest of his career being so vulgarly assertive in exactly what he does. “I don’t know how to make a hit, per se, but I know how to make a song that makes me feel good,” Pain says. “And that’s all I want to do, is to make music that makes me feel good. I don’t give a s— if it does good, or what my first week looks like, or what my f—ing record sales look like, or how many spins I got—I don’t give a f— about that.”
If you’re so inclined, check all of it out below. You’ll learn something about the Tallahassee, Fla. native.