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“You n***as singin’ too much/Get back to rap, you T-Painin’ too much,” Hov rapped on the track.
T-Pain discussed his initial reactions to the 2009 cut during a recent interview on Drink Champs. Co-host N.O.R.E. asked T-Pain where he was at when he first heard the song, and whether he felt like it was a targeted diss.
“Of course! A wise man once said, ‘You can’t knock the hustle,’” T-Pain said. “I’m the face of this. Just like Lil Yachty was the face of mumble rap—anytime somebody talk about mumble rap, Lil Yachty was the first person to come up. I was the face of Auto-Tune. Anytime somebody said, ‘Auto-Tune,’ I’m the face. So, when you say Auto-Tune is wack, I’m the face.”
He continued: “If I woulda said fuckin’ blue Yankees are terrible, everybody woulda been like, ‘Oh you dissin’ Jay-Z now?’ … Anytime [Jay] says something is wack, it’s trash.”
Jay spoke about the track in a 2009 interview on Hot 97, clarifying he was not taking a shot at T-Pain.
“The guys who did it, did it great. T-Pain, he does great melodies,” Hov explained. “If you listen to Kanye, great melodies. If you listen to [West’s] ‘Say You Will’ or ‘Heartless,’ great melodies. [Lil Wayne and T-Pain’s] ‘Lollipop’ was a fantastic melody. Everybody can’t do it. Let them guys do it. They got their little niche, let’s move on. That’s just my opinion. I don’t know if everybody feels the same way.”
T-Pain went on to say the “D.O.A.” came out after Usher had accused him of ruining music by popularizing Auto-Tune. The Tallahassee then said he had written a response to Jay’s “D.O.A.” but it was never completed.
“I was, like, really drunk. I was ready to go,” T-Pain said about his state of mind when he recorded the diss track. “… I went into the studio and started recording the record and my managers were like, ‘I think we just need to take a break.’ … We were supposed to take a break for four months, I ended up taking a break for four years.”
T-Pain said he ran into Jay “a ton of times” after “D.O.A.,” and recalled a particularly awkward moment he had with Hov and Beyoncé at a Grammy afterparty.
“I had two cups of Hennessy, so I couldn’t shake his hand ...” T-Pain said. “I wanted to say two things, and they collided. I wanted to say, ‘Thank you for everything,’ but also, ‘Sorry about the confusion.’ And I fuckin’ said, ‘Sorry for everything.’”
What was Jay’s reaction? T-Pain claims Jay rubbed him on the head and hit him with, “It’s all good, bro.”
“On my head, bro!” T-Pain continued. “And then, I’m tryin’ to comfort myself by giving an elbow tap to [Bey]. She hit the elbow and the fuckin’ Hennessy dropped on her white dress. I was like, ‘You know what? I’ma go find the closest gun … I’m just gonna go ahead and end it.’ … I did not do good that day.”
You can watch the full interview up top.