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Tallahassee-based MC and vocalist T-Pain (born Faheem Najm) came up in a rap group called Nappy Headz but went pro as a solo R&B artist after he recorded "I'm F**ked Up," a personal take on Akon's Top Ten hit "Locked Up." Akon heard the track and took T-Pain under his wing with a contract on his Jive-distributed Konvict Muzik label. Produced and written mostly by T-Pain, Rappa Ternt Sanga was released in December 2005, led by the Top 20 single "I'm Sprung." Epiphany followed in June 2007. His 2008 album, Thr33 Ringz, was conceptually based around the circus and played up the singer's "Ringleader Man" persona. rEvolver, which followed in 2011, was another conceptual effort, this time putting the focus on how much T-Pain had evolved since his previous effort. ~ Andy Kellman