As T-Pain wraps up work on a new Nappy Boy All Stars mix tape and his latest album, "RevolveR," fans can anticipate the release of an entirely different kind of project from the Auto-tuned rapper/producer. "Freaknik: The Musical" is an hour long cartoon special that will air Sunday (Mar. 7) on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network's late night block that features programming geared towards the network's more mature audience.
The show will center on the revival of a wild and frequently riotous music festival that took place in Atlanta, Georgia from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Most interestingly, the show's creator and co-producer says the special cashes in on some serious favors to include an all-star voiceover cast featuring Rick Ross, Young Cash, Snoop Dogg, Sophia Fresh, Lil Wayne and Charlie Murphy, among a long list of others. As if the premise couldn't get any more bizarre, the show will also star T-Pain in a laughably Dickensian role as the Ghost of Freaknik past.
Regarding his choice to make a cartoon, T-Pain tells Billboard.com that having to coordinate with so many artists made making an animated show a no-brainer. "There's so many more dimensions you can cover in a cartoon -- you don't really have to deal with any actors; you don't have to get locations or set times. You can just express more...and it's funny as hell," he says.
Though producer T-Pain half-jokingly clarifies that "it's not Sweeney Todd or anything," the show, billed as a musical, is by no means lacking in musical performances. "There's a whole lot of music on this thing, you know being that it was so many artists, there had to be some kind of music going through it," he says, adding that in addition to himself, fans will hear music from Rick Ross, Young Cash, and Sophia Fresh.
T-Pain also took some time to clear the air concerning wide-spread rumors that soon-to-be incarcerated rapper Lil Wayne will be playing Jesus Christ in the show. "It's definitely not Jesus," he laughs, "His name is Trap Jesus, so he's like the messiah of the dope spot, but when people hear Jesus…well you know." The rapper suspects further confusion may have arisen after Lil Wayne appeared "bleeding on a cross" on the cover of a recent mix-tape, saying "that was weird after we did all that and had to explain that he's not really Jesus in the cartoon."
Commenting as to whether he thought the show had potential to reignite interest in the actual Freaknik event, T-Pain says, "I think it's already in the talks, so I don't know if I did that or not."
Though the rapper wasn't old enough to attend the actual event, he remembers watching video brought home by his brother and was quick to add that while Freaknik may be great for the cartoon world, it's probably not the best idea in actuality. The yearly event which was never fully sanctioned by the city was ended by authorities in 1999 due to a history of public disturbances and traffic problems caused by the event.
In addition, T-Pain also shed some light on the progress of his latest album "RevolveR," commenting that physical recording wrapped up last Wednesday and that the project was now in its mixing and mastering phase. The album, which T-Pain says should be out some time in April, will feature less in the way of collaboration than some of his previous releases. "I tried to keep it light this time because a lot of people were saying my other albums were only as good as they were because of the features," he says. "So I'm gonna try to run the test on it this time."
Despite paring down the collabs, the rapper disclosed that the album will still receive help from Busta Rhymes and Flo Rida.