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New Artist Alert: T-Pain & Huey
It’s a hip-hop double bill this month as we feature two exciting new artists for you to check out. If you like Akon you’ll want to check out T-Pain, the Florida-based singer signed to Akon’s record label. Also on our radar is rapper Huey, the 19-year-old sensation from St. Louis, home to superstars like Nelly and Ludacris. They both have hot singles on the charts right now, so be sure to check them out!


1. The Akon connection
T-Pain had been making music in his native Florida since he was a young boy. He started out by making tracks in his bedroom on the keyboard and went on to find moderate success in his hometown as part of the rap group Nappy Headz. He first got attention as a solo artist for his remix of the Akon track Locked Up. His remix, though unofficial, became popular very quickly and finally made it to the desk of Akon himself who was so impressed with the mix that he met with T-Pain and signed him to his Konvict Music record label. T-Pain began work on his solo debut, fuelled by a desire to create a different sound. The effort paid off and his debut album Rappa Ternt Singa spawned hit singles like I’m Sprung and I’m N Luv (Wit A Stripper). The songs were very popular in the clubs and reportedly sold a combined five million units as ring tones.

2. He writes anthems for the clubs
A common thread in T-Pain’s songs is the theme of nightclub life. There’s I’m N Luv (Wit A Stripper) which has been embraced by listeners and exotic dancers alike. T-Pain said in an interview with “Dancers love [the song]. There’s finally a song about strippers that ain’t degrading.” His 2007 release Epiphany features a song called Buy U A Drank, a tune about club culture and how relationships often begin in nightclubs these days. And finally, there’s even a tune for the guys behind the club scene ~ Bartender tells the story of how men behind the bar often fall for the lovely ladies in the club and then end up broken hearted.


1. He comes from the home town of stars like Nelly, Chingy and Ludacris
This 19-year-old rapper honed his craft on the same St. Louis streets as rap superstars Nelly, Chingy and Ludacris. He began working on music when he was young, pursuing it only as a hobby and not taking it too seriously. His brother, however, recognised his talent and decided to nudge him in a more professional direction. He called in entrepreneur Angela Richardson who quickly took Huey under her wing and began managing his career. Soon, the young rapper, only 15 at the time, was playing anywhere and everywhere that he could get booked. He built relationships with DJs and local promoters and soon fans were requesting his songs by name with the track Pop, Lock & Drop It becoming one of the big favourites.

2. From notebook paper to the airwaves
The subject matter for Huey’s tunes comes quite literally straight from his notebook in which he spent years putting down notes and rhymes. He explains in his official biography, “Basically, you take your surroundings... Okay, you’re young. You got guns around you. You got drugs around you. You got cars stuntin’. You got alcoholics. You got all this around you. When you place it into a notebook, this is your rhyme. So basically, everything is the truth. You place it into this notebook and off of the game you makin’ paper. You gettin’ dust now. Why not call your album Notebook Paper?”

You can read the rest of our feature New Artist Alert: T-Pain and Huey in the June 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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