It’s been a week now since Jay-Z declared Auto-Tune dead. How has the Auto-Tune community responded to the attack? Not so well. At a Black Eyed Peas album-release party last night, Will.I.Am took to rambling and name-checking obscure Edward Norton movies — “Death to synthesizers too. Death to guitar pick. Death to Smoochy. Death to Slurpees” — before attempting to downplay his affiliation: “I like it, but too much Auto-Tune is mad weird.” Fergie agreed: “I remember coming into the studio one day and was like … just please don’t put Auto-Tune on every song I sing.” (Apl.de.Ap was unfortunately unavailable for comment.)
Elsewhere, The-Dream piped up in Auto-Tune’s defense, but may have just confused things: “If you put Auto-Tune on his voice then you would never know how Al Green would sound. So it’s not really killing [singing]. I think [Auto-Tune] is actually making us more aware of what singing is.” Borderline-famous rapper Jim Jones made what would have been a salient point — “We’re getting money off of Auto-Tune” — if only first-week sales of his latest album had cracked 50,000. And on The View (where else?), Blueprint 3 producer Kanye West tried to explain his affair with the tool: “I thought it’d be interesting, for me, being a true artist, to use a medium that people in my community didn’t respect.”
But what says the King of the Auto-Tune? T-Pain told MTV that his “album just got pushed up. It was gonna come out September next year. [The record label], they’re making me come out November this year … I was gonna chill, because it was so many people that do what I do — now Jay-Z done dropped the ‘Death of Auto-Tune’ and it’s time for me to come back.” Badass, T-Pain. Badass.