T-Pain Reveals That Chris Brown Tried to Poach ‘Buy U a Drank’

Although he’s no longer the household name that he once was, there might not be a more meaningful name in modern hip-hop than T-Pain. Since bursting onto the scene with hit singles like, ‘Buy U a Drank,’ the singer saw his signature auto-tune style take over the entire genre. At the time, however, another singer was waiting in the shadows to steal what would be his hit single. The singer was Chris Brown.

T-Pain
T-Pain | Leon Bennett/WireImage

The T-Pain story 

T-Pain rose to prominence on the back of his strange, electric sounding voice that the masses now known as auto-tune. Although the singer is a talented vocalist, he used auto-tune to generate a unique sound that, at the time, was different than almost everything on the radio. After getting discovered by Akon, however, nothing was ever the same. 

T-Pain’s first big single was the smash “I’m Sprung. Not long after, he burst onto the charts again on the single “I’m ‘n Love (Wit a Stripper).” Before long, he was one of the biggest names in hip hop and R&B.

Those hits sprung several others, both as a solo artist and as a featured performer. Arguably his biggest hit, however, “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” was his biggest hit and still resonates with fans. 

T-Pain remained popular for several years. Hit songs like Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It,” which features T-Pain, kept him on the charts. Although his status had dwindled in recent years, he remains a big name within the community and continues working to this day. Contemporary audiences might remember him as the un-auto-tuned winner of the hit show The Masked Singer.

T-Pain has dozens of hits and accomplishments, from two Grammy’s to a slew of other awards. His biggest song still might be “Buy U a Drank.”

T-Pain’s lasting footprint

Years after the 2007 release of Buy U a Drank, it remains a staple to T-Pains fans and still gets regular play at clubs, parties, and playlists around the world. The song’s staying power may best be exemplified by the fact that in 2017, after a decade in the culture, T-Pain made news when he clarified that fans almost always misrepresented a famous lyric. E! Online wrote about this when it broke:

Turns out that in the chorus, when everyone thinks he’s saying, “I’ma buy you a drank / ooh wee I’ma take you home with me,” the lyrics are actually, “I’ma buy you a drank / Then I’ma take you home.”

On its own, this news is more of a humorous look at how people can misinterpret the lyrics. The fact that it made the news at all shows how T-Pain’s song resonates in a way that few others have. However, if Chris Brown got his way, the song would not have been T-Pain’s. 

Chris Brown tries to poach T-Pain

T-Pain recently sat down with The Hot Ones, an internet talk show in which celebrities are interviewed while eating increasingly spicy wings. During the interview, he discussed everything from gamers and music to his dream roster on Verzuz. Inevitably, the conversation went back to “Buy U a Drank,” however. 

The Grammy-winner talked about producing the beat before writing the lyrics. He took the song to Chris Brown, who was rising in the music world at that same time. Brown loved the song. In fact, he loved it so much that he tried to swoop it out from under T-Pain the second that he listened to it. 

“Once I made it, I was so proud of it [that] I walked into Chris Brown’s studio and showed it to Chris Brown,” the singer told the show. “He tried to take it from me. He was like, ‘Oh, my God… We’ve got to get this on my album.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, man! For sure! Nah, whatever you want!’ I was just defeated at that time, and as soon as I left out of that room, I was like, ‘He’s not ever hearing that song again.'”

It all worked out for T-Pain in the end. The song became one of his biggest hits, and he is still beloved by many more than a decade afterward. Still, the story he told was a fascinating look at how the music industry works on the inside, and how quickly things can be different if someone isn’t careful.