Epiphany (Nappy Boy/Konvict/Jive/Zomba)

Oh man, this one takes me back to the prime of my middle school years with songs like “Bartender” bumping at the school dance or listening to “Buy U a Drank” in class on my iPod nano.

This album was definitely the tipping point that convinced me to pursue a musical career. Smooth lyrics over the unique robotic autotuneish sound that he introduced? That was everything. T-Pain opened up the doors to give us a glimpse of what being a “baller” with big rims and fat pockets was at an early age. The sense of confidence, the sense of being “fly” which transcended into everyone’s wardrobe and even the way we all spoke. He influenced a whole generation.

When I started writing my own lyrics to express myself and set my mind free, T-Pain was always in the background. His music put me in the zone and got me hyped.

(Nappy Boy/Konvict/Jive/Zomba)

Back then, my friends and I all wanted to be him. We all wanted his lifestyle, especially to have diamond grills. It’s important to keep in mind that this album was hot during the days when Myspace was still lit. I admired T-Pain so much that I went the extra mile and searched for the HTML code that would put his album cover in the background of my Myspace page. Not to mention that even though after-school pirating with LimeWire was happening daily (those of you who lived through it know that along with the free songs, we all gifted our parents’ computers with free viruses as well), I couldn’t wait to have my parents drive me to the store to actually buy his latest album. I needed to have his music immediately.

In my opinion, music was at its peak at this point, and it will forever influence my sound and lyrical style. To this day, I still listen to Epiphany. It’s one of the only albums I listen to completely from start to finish (no skipped tracks). Every song on there is a banger. It might only be his second album, but it’s definitely an inspiration. It reminds me that anything is possible in the music industry.

Panda$tackz’s “Pancho Pantera” single is out now.

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