Published on August 25th, 2022 | by Darren Paltrowitz


T-Pain On Working With Laffy Taffy, Career Highlights, Future Plans, “I’m On A Boat” & More

Earlier this month, in conjunction with Happy National Tell A Joke Day, Laffy Taffy held its first joke-writing contest in decades. This event gave fans the opportunity to have their “dad jokes” printed on their fruity, chewy candy wrappers. GRAMMY Award-winning artist T-Pain kicked-off the “Your Jokes Our (W)rapper” contest after making a surprise appearance at Zanies Comedy Club Chicago to rap Laffy Taffy’s “original jokes” into a sweet retirement last night, making room for new jokes on the iconic wrappers. T-Pain helped determine the “best laff” and Grand Prize winner of the month-long contest.

Yes, that T-Pain. The one who has 12 GRAMMY Award nominations and whose hits include “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’),” “Blame It,” “Good Life,” Low” and “I’m On A Boat.” The Auto-Tune innovator first found success in the early 2000s via 2005’s Rappa Ternt Sang. Still a major name close to 20 years later, T-Pain was the winner of the first season of The Masked Singer and has also found success as an actor, reality show judge and entrepreneur. And plenty more is said to be in the works from the Tallahassee, Florida native, who has been building up his Nappy Boy empire beyond music.

I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with T-Pain about his work with Laffy Taffy and plenty more, which you can read below. More on T-Pain and/or Laffy Taffy can be read by clicking here, here and here.

I grew up eating a lot of candy, so I always knew about Laffy Taffy. Do you remember when you first learned about Laffy Taffy?

T-Pain: I must have been really young. Laffy Taffy has been around since before I was born and it brings me so much nostalgia. I’ve loved reading the jokes on the wrappers since I was a kid — it is the perfect combo of a good laugh and some candy while you are at it. I often thought about how dope it would be to have one of my jokes on a wrapper, and now I get to help decide the winning joke of this contest. Really feels like a full circle experience.

How did the opportunity to work with Laffy Taffy come about? Did you have to keep it a secret for long?

T-Pain: When I learned Laffy Taffy was giving fans a chance to submit their own jokes to be printed on the wrappers…and that they needed a “rapper” to help judge, I thought, I’m definitely the man for that job. (laughs) As an artist, creativity is important to me and it’s a really fun way to encourage people to share their ideas.

That, combined with the fact that I’m always looking for ways to make my friends and family laugh with a good “dad joke” — just ask my kids — made the decision to be the judge of this contest an easy one. I’m happy the secret is out and am excited to laugh out loud while I go through submissions for the winning joke. And if I’m being honest, I’m sure I’ll enjoy some Laffy Taffy while I read them too.

Your first big hit song was over 15 years ago. When did you start to feel like this was a career and that you were not worried about the next hit you would have?

T-Pain: I mean, I never really knew anything else. I started making music when I was very young. I’m just happy that other people also like the music that I create. I think I knew this was a career when I first got signed to a label and saw my music take off. From there, I just made the music I liked and what happened with them happened.

The I Am T-Pain app was quickly a hit after it came out. To you, where does the app rank in terms of career highlights?

T-Pain: (laughs) That was a fun one and honestly it is up there. It basically gave a ton of people the chance to see what it was like to use autotune. I actually have had a few big artists today come up to me and tell me that they made their first song ever using that app when they were younger and experimenting which is pretty cool.

When you recorded “I’m On A Boat” with Lonely Island, did you have any idea the song would be such a long-term, successful anthem? Did the success of “I’m On A Boat” lead you to becoming more interested in cruises or boating, in general?

T-Pain: I had no idea that song would become a success. Honestly that was just us all being ridiculous and having a ton of fun. The Lonely Island guys are great to work with. I don’t think it ever led me to being more interested in cruises or boating, but I know I see a ton of people play that song on their IG stories when they are on boats. (laughs)

A number of your successful tracks have mentioned rock in the title, like “Sex Love Rock N Roll,” “Rock With You” by Shonte Renee, “Rock N Roll” with Stephen Wesley and the “Rockstar” remix with Post Malone and Joey Bada$$. Do you think we will ever get a full-length rock-themed album from T-Pain?

T-Pain: Wow, you did your research here! You know what? I got some stuff up my sleeve but it is too early to share that with you now. I love all types of music and you may see some stuff coming out in the near-future that have some rock influence.

Is there anything in your career you have not accomplished that you are still hoping to make happen?

T-Pain: Man, I’ve been really doing a lot of things lately that I’ve always wanted to do like my Nappy Boy Gaming team, my Nappy Boy Radio Podcast, and Nappy Boy Automotive. My main thing now is just continuing to build those entities out.

Finally, T-Pain, any last words for the kids?

T-Pain: Have fun with Laffy Taffy’s joke-writing contest and use it as an outlet for creative expression. You may have a “dad joke” you’ve been telling for years. Or maybe you’re entering with something completely new. Get creative. That’s what this is all about. I can’t wait to read all the jokes and hopefully you’ll see yours on a wrapper.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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