A friend of mine hates concerts. Well, not hate exactly, but he always had a particular reason for passing when I hit him up with +1 tickets. "Why does he get to be up there?" he'd ask. "Who is some artist that I should stand around in a crowd and look up to him? It's weird." I'd always laugh it off, but he may be onto something. T-Pain recently dropped a video called "Monotone," written from the perspective of an aspiring artist in the crowd looking to dethrone the performer on stage. Man, I spent my whole check to hear you talk about your life and how you got my check around your neck?, he raps, at once poking at predictable, repetitive shows and the sea of hungry rappers that look on with muted envy. T-Pain has continued to inch around an experimental phase, writing from unique perspectives and dragging in a range of sonic influences, and it's producing some of the coolest music of his career.