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T-Pain Turned Down 6-Figure Offers Before Signing With Akon’s Konvict Muzik For $20K

A decision based on career aspirations and not immediate finance helped propel T-Pain to have that long career he yearned to have. The recording artist turned down a couple of six-figure deals and signed for an advance significantly less than what he was offered from two major labels.

According to AfroTech, the “Rappa Ternt Sanga” gave an exclusive interview with Los Angeles-based radio station KRRL (Real 92.3). In that interview, T-Pain discussed making a business decision to take substantially less money for a sustainable career.

After the Tallahassee, Florida, resident released an independent successful single, “I’m Sprung,” which did well on the Billboard charts and immediately put him on the map, he started to get offers.

“Interscope Records offered me a $900,000 signing bonus as an 18-year-old,” T-Pain said. “That sounds crazy. Out of Tallahassee. And at this very moment, there’s no lights on in your house. At this very moment, my studio’s been run off a generator outside, and we can’t run it past 11 o’clock. I have no power in my house. We can’t pay for gas to get to the airport, to fly to Interscope Records. They’re offering us these things. And you know, we went to Atlantic, which was offering $700,000, but everybody was offering all these things for the single, just for the one record.”

Yet, another recording artist made a more significant offer that was more appealing to the ears of T-Pain. Akon, who had his own label, Konvict Muzik, wanted the producer-singer to sign a contract with him, offering him a career. Although Akon’s offer was much lower at $20,000 as a signing bonus, he had faith in the fellow artist’s promises when he told him he’d “make sure” T-Pain had “a long career.”

“When I went to all these companies, they was like, ‘I love this song. I love this song. What can we do? Can we get another song? Can we do this song?'” T-Pain stated. “And Akon was like, ‘I love you. I love what you’re doing, and I wanna make sure you have a long career.’ He was the only person talking like that. And I wasn’t in it for short money. I was in there trying to get the long play going. He was the only one talking about it, so I went with him… and I literally ran away from home in order to sign with Akon.”

T-Pain signed with Konvict Muzik in 2005 and has been making money ever since.