PHOTOS: BLENDER.COM

In a very candid interview with Blender Magazine, Hip-Hop genius T-Pain revealed that he really needs auto tune, and how he was mad at first when rappers like Lil’ Wayne and Kanye started using it.

Taken in this light, T-Pain’s sonic signature—his cyborgish singing, which he achieves via drastic manipulation of the pitch-correction software Auto-Tune—is a prosthetic, granting him an edge he wasn’t born with: T-Pain puts on Auto-Tune the way a short guy puts on platform shoes. “I wanted to sound different,” he says. “Auto-Tune was my way of being André 3000.”

In the process, he’s turned Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne and Kanye West into Auto-Tune junkies too: “At first, I was real pissed about them using the effect,” he says. “Like, You guys don’t need this—I do!”

Two more pics of the auto tune dependent singer (or rapper?) when you continue reading.