In the Vlad TV interview above, rapper turned singing AutoTune addict T-Pain calls homophobia "terrible" and "weird," says he doesn't "fuck with" people who shun gays, and claims to know artists who won't work with Frank Ocean because he once wrote a Tumblr post about falling in love with a man. Throughout, T-Pain is seemingly tipsy and decidedly animated, which makes his entire spiel delightful. I mean, there's plenty to get offended over here, if you wish to nitpick, so don't fret. T-Pain will give you something to do if you're bored and looking to get mad.
Vlad TV is especially interested in the issue of homophobia in hip-hop (one day, a documentary on the subject could be pieced together using just the site's interviews). For example, here is a Vlad TV interview in which Brand Nubian's Lord Jamar, who blasted Kanye West for wearing a kilt, says astoundingly stupid things about the word "homophobia" and homosexuality.
What's exceptional about the T-Pain interview is his ease with the subject. He's so comfortable that he slips right into generalizing about gay culture. Yeah, this is what we call straightsplaining, but instead of explaining the ways of gays so as to stir up animosity, he's doing so to dispel it. For example, when discussing his gay assistant and people's reaction to him, Pain says:
People don't fuck with me because he's around me. People feel like, 'Oh shit, I wanna go say something to Pain but that gay dude is right there,' and it's like, he ain't lookin' for you, nigga! Nigga, if he was looking for you...let me tell you about these gay niggas, boy. These gay niggas'll get on you. These gay niggas bold. If they want you, they gonna tell you before you even know they in there. They gon' get you for real.
That's funny. Not representative of the entire group, somewhat in service of perpetuating the stereotype of the predatory gay male, but funny.
My gay assistant chilling here, eating some shrimp salad, some...I don't know what gay people eat. Nutella or some shit.
So is that, but mostly because a sugar spread is about the least stereotypically gay food. But Nutella is dainty! Sometimes so are gay men. I get it!
You ain't even got bitches. Why you think this gay dude is gonna like you? Bitches don't even like you! That's stupid, bruh!...Even if they did like you, it's gonna be bottoms, so you would be the one fucking the motherfucker. You ain't gonna be the bottom. Ain't nobody gonna get behind you, 'Hey big boy.' No, they don't do that shit. That's not how that works. Unless you're in prison.
This is also a reasonable argument against gay panic to an extent. I thought of something along these lines when comedian Lil Duval made a joke on Twitter about being paranoid around gay men who want him. (Nobody wants you, dude.) If T-Pain's understanding of top/bottom dynamics were a little more cultivated and lived-in, he'd know that topping tops is a fine hobby indeed, but whatever. He's speaking to stereotypes using stereotypes.
This interview is messy and imperfect. T-Pain calls women "bitches." At one point he says, "I don't fuck with nobody who cut people off because how they choose to live they life," and then, "It's in his fuckin' genes man, it's not a fuckin' choice." He says Frank Ocean is having a hard time getting into the studio with Jay Z after coming out, but Frank was featured on Jay's 2013 album Magna Carta...Holy Grail's "Oceans."
But it's also a snapshot of a continually evolving conversation in hip-hop and R&B from someone who's on the right side of history. Someone who is relaxed enough to be wrong, and someone who sees homophobia for the absurdity that it is.