He’s a Grammy Award-winning artist with a string of classics under his belt, but Akon believes that T-Pain could have reached heights beyond what he’s already accomplished. “Bartender,” “I’m Sprung,” and “Buy U a Drank” are just a few T-Pain favorites that can get the club jumping and Akon helped launch the autotuned singer’s career after signing him to Konvict Music back in the day. Akon reflected on almost creating a supergroup with T-Pain and Pharrell, at the guise of Nelly, but it fell through. During the conversation withΒ VladTV, the host argued that Future took over T-Pain’s spot in the industry and asked Akon why he believes that happened to the “Can’t Believe It” artist.

T-Pain, VladTV, Akon, Konvict Music, Pharrell
Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff / Getty Images

They both agreed that T-Pain is extremely talented, but examined “why people stopped f*ckin’ with him to the same extent” as they did in the past. Akon said, “I think one of the major reasons is that T-Pain never left the hood. He just confined his music to urban music… That was it. I saw T-Pain as another me, to be able to cross outside of urban. Go into pop, go into EDM, go into Latinβ€”I still think ’til this day he still can do it.”

Akon added that at this stage of T-Pain’s career, he would advise him to try his hand in the Latin market. “You and I know better than anybody, urban audiences aren’t loyal,” he said. “Every year there’s a new n*gga. Every year. So, you gotta take full advantage, maximize your urban presence, and then right as that side n*gga come in, you exit… Hip hop, it’s a [stick] and move. It don’t stick around long enough unless you continue to reinvent yourself.”

This has been an argument that many have had for some time against hip hop and rap fans. Do you agree with Akon about T-Pain’s career and what he had to say about “urban audiences”?