Watching T-Pain perform in 2017 is no small spectacle. The veteran of countless features and club hits of his own, 31-year old vocalist brings immeasurable steez to a festival stage, and absolutely more Billboard hits than you realize. He even tried to count.
"I went through the whole Billboard Hot 100 lineup," he announced midway through his Aug. 20 Sun Stage evening set. "And I'm the one with the most number ones on the whole list." (Full disclosure, we haven't vetted this claim yet.) T-Pain has weathered countless trends across hip-hop, R&B, and Top 40 radio and has stayed winning through the years, even as streaming took over the space and chewed up and spat out plenty of his peers. He put the teens in a frenzy with "Turn Down For What," then closed his set with the 2009 Maino smash, "All the Above." Who else can do that?
It's definitely worth highlighting how young T-Pain's crowd was. It absolutely packed the Sun Stage grounds (DJ Khaled's set ending on the nearby main stage minutes earlier definitely helped) and even though much of the demo looked like it was in elementary school when "I'm Sprung" broke the top 10 of the Hot 100 in 2005, they were there to rep it through and through. They rocked hard though T-Pain's many, many hits from that era, including his own "Buy You a Drank (Shawty Snappin')," Kanye West's "Good Life," Chris Brown's "Kiss Kiss," and Flo Rida's "Get Low," yet another T-Pain No. 1.
What's perhaps most impressive is how T-Pain's resisted becoming a nostalgia act. "Turn Down For What" and "All I Do Is Win" definitely registered in real time for his Hot 100 fest crowd, and all the basketball jersey'd and crop-topped kids sang along and threw up their hands accordingly. Onstage with just his DJ, his voice and his hits, T-Pain reigned supreme.
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