T-Pain was and is entertaining—and T-Pain was and is important—not just because he built a career a decade ago by making fun, light songs about drinking and/or having sex with women, but because of how he did it. He utilized and popularized Auto-Tune, and in doing so transformed both rap and R&B, paving the way for plenty of singers who couldn't actually sing and rappers who couldn't actually rap. And Kanye.
Unfortunately, he has been so lauded and laughed at for this that the most important aspect of his career has been disregarded by his fans, if they ever noticed it at all: T-Pain can sing.
Like, really, really sing. Here's T-Pain participating in NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series. It's him, a pianist, a stool, and a mic. That's it. There's no stage, no DJ Khaled, no Auto-Tune, nothing between the audience and the singer as he belts out a few classics and a few new ones alike.
And goddamn. That boy can sing.