The elusive Mr. Auto-Tune
We know, we know -- it doesn't seem quite fair that we listed Auto-Tune as one of the choices on the ballot for our annual Best Music Poll -- after all, he's got far more hits than Chris Martin, the guy from Kings of Leon, or any of the other nominees in the "Best Male Vocalist" category.
But we certainly didn't think it would make a bunch of famous rappers start shit with him or anything.
Let it be noted that the backlash has begun in earnest -- about 18 months too late, if you ask us. After weeks of campaigning against Auto-Tune in the press, last weekend Jay-Z leaked a veiled stab at his nemesis. On "D.O.A." Jay proclaims, "You rappers singing too much/get back to rap, you T-Painin' too much."
We attempted to contact Auto-Tune for a reply. His publicist said he was in the studio with Jamie Foxx and unavailable for comment.
Today, Wyclef Jean weighs in with "Mr. Autotune," in which he calls out our nominee by name: "I'm Mr. Autotune, if you sing off key/For a small fee, I can make you a celebrity." It's not that Wyclef has a problem with Auto-tune, per se: he's just not convinced that such a powerful force should be entrusted to just anyone: "Listen to me now, I think you got it confused/You gotta have skills before you turn on the Autotune."
Did we mention that this track features a guest appearance by Nick Cannon?
Whether or not this blatant attempt at voter intimidation influences our readers, we sincerely hope that the combatants keep this battle on wax. This is one we definitely don't want to see spilling out in the streets. So if you ain't into Mr. Auto-Tune, just vote for somebody else in this year's poll -- plus, you know how embarassing y'all alternative-rock peoples would be if your favorite soft-rocker lost out to some software.
DOWNLOAD: Wyclef Jean feat. Nick Cannon, "Mr. Autotune" [mp3]
STREAM: Jay-Z, "D.O.A." [youtube]