AutoTune 1998 – 2009


Jay-Z D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)

There was a murder last Friday night.

Who pulled the trigger? Jay-Z. The victim? Auto-Tune.

Auto-Tune, we barely knew ye. Your 11 year career, starting off in Cher’s womb and gradating to a full blown rapper became one of the most bizzare stories of 2009.

Everybody wondered what the 39 year-old rapper thought about the pitch-correction software tweak (not to be confused with the vocoder and talkbox) that has infected hip-hop’s airwaves for the past year. The trend started off as a trickle, but by Spring 2009 it seemed like 80% of songs on the radio were using the plugin created by Andy Hildebrand. There was even an Auto-Tune device on iTunes pimped by none other than T-Pain himself.

But last Friday, Jay-Z ended it all.

Ironically Teddy Pain joined Jay on Stage at Hot 97 this past Sunday. Maybe he sees the writing on the wall??

Let’s face it. Auto-Tune is dead, and I was just getting the like it too. Even while pushing 40, Hova can cause a monumental shift in the way music sounds for the remainder of 2009. Sure, there were some great hits spawned by the practice, Jamie Foxx’s Blame it on the Alcohol being one of them, but by flipping the script it won’t allow producers to get lazy and open up the floodgates to wack artists who are trying to emulate the hot trend of the day.

So enjoy Auto-Tune while you can. It’s death was quick and painless.