In the Studio: T-Pain's Angry Return

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>T-Pain is feeling fiercely territorial over his signature sexy robot sound, or more precisely, the Auto-Tune software that turns his voice into a cyborg croon — as heard on hits he's produced or sung on, such as Kanye West's "Good Life," Flo Rida's "Low" and his own "Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin')."

"People I look up to, legends who don't have to be using Auto-Tune, they using it!" says T-Pain, 22, sounding genuinely pissed off. The rapper takes out his frustration on copycats throughout his third album, Thr33 Ringz, due this fall. "F.U." features brutal rock guitars and a scream-along chorus ("Fuck Yooooooou!"); on "Karaoke," he asks for forgiveness from God before dissing what he calls "karaoke niggas": "Your daughter told you to get off daddy's dick!"

After passing on an invite to join Kanye's tour, Pain recorded 36 songs in two months. "I go in the booth and whatever happens, happens," he says. Other new cuts include "Chopped & Screwed," Pain's take on the slowed-down Houston sound, and the Lil Wayne-featuring "Can't Believe It," Thr33 Ringz' likely first single. Both songs, of course, feature his man-meets-machine vocals. "Auto-Tune's stuck with me," Pain says, grinning at last. "People told me to stop using it, but I would not stop. It works!"