The Auto-Tune pioneer returns with a new, self-directed video for anti-strip club anthem ‘Hundred Mo Dolla$’
Vocalist, producer, Auto-Tune pioneer, and prolific 00s hitmaker T-Pain has been promising his new album Stoicville — his first since 2011 — since revealing it an insightful 2014 profile with the New Yorker. This year he released two new songs that show he’s keeping up his creative streak: “Officially Yours”, an ode to his wife put out around Valentine’s Day, and most recently “Hundred Mo Dolla$”, an anti-strip club story.
Produced by T-Pain and DJ Spinz, “Hundred Mo Dolla$” tells the story of a man leaving the strip club to find he’s been neglecting the one he really loves at home. “I would have had a hundred mo dollars if I would’ve stayed home,” he laments in the lyrics. Still, the song is hardly a neutered tale of domesticity: Pain finds that his girl at home does it better than the strippers ever could.
The track’s new video, shot and directed by T-Pain himself, is a noirish visit to a strip club. It’s focused not on the environment of the strip club, but rather on the athleticism of stripping itself. Watch the video for “Hundred Mo Dolla$” below, and read on for a Q&A with T-Pain about the concept behind the video and the art of stripping.
What's the story behind “Hundred Mo Dolla$”?
T-Pain: The song itself is about a guy realizing that after all the money he’s spent at the strip club, his girl at home has and can do everything the strippers can. He could have saved that money! He could stay home and didn’t have to go to the strip club.
What was the concept behind the music video?
T-Pain: I wanted to show the beauty and art of strippers as they dance. Most people only think (of the) thumping bass and big booties when it comes to strippers on a pole. Big booties are always great, but there’s so much more to it than that when you really watch a stripper. Stripping? That shit is a skill, and physically is damn near a sport when you consider the strength and creativity those women use to entertain us on the pole. I wanted to explore and celebrate the art and beauty inside of that.
“Big booties are always great, but there’s so much more to it than that when you really watch a stripper.” — T-Pain
What were your inspirations making the video?
T-Pain: In short? Burlesque. From their use of feathers, props and lighting to the overall “now you see me, now you don’t” sense of sex and mystery Burlesque dancers present, it gives a rush because it becomes more sexy not seeing everything at once as they dance. That style crossed my mind as I thought about the feel of my video. In “Hundred Mo Dolla$”, yes, you see the strippers but you only see parts of them at a time. Not the entire form at once. I played a lot with lighting, satin, color and subtle visual effects to unveil and veil the ladies and highlight certain movements as they danced on the pole.
Can you tell me about your background in making films and videos?
T-Pain: No formal training. I’ve been studying and making videos since 2001, and my interest was initially sparked out of necessity. Back then I was in a rap group and we needed music videos. We didn’t have the money to hire directors, so I sat in front of my computer with an editing program and I taught myself to create what we needed. This was 2001, so it was before the days of YouTube where you can watch ‘How-to’ videos. My skill began as trial and error until I learned. Visually I know what I want to see, but I taught myself how to achieve it behind the lens. As different editing programs have come out over time I’ve never stopped developing my skill this way. Even now, when YouTube instructional videos are plentiful, I try not to go there because you end up learning how to use someone else’s technique. I’m at the point where I like creating my own visual techniques. There is no right and wrong way to technique.
Will “Hundred Mo Dolla$” appear on Stoicville?
T-Pain: No. But it will appear somewhere else very soon.