Here are two things I learnt today. One, T-Pain—of Buy U a Drank fame—is working on Grand Theft Auto 6 in some capacity. Two, he's a major GTA Online roleplay fan, and can often be spotted hanging out on the popular NoPixel RP server.
Or at least, that used to be the case. In a recent Twitch stream, T-Pain mentioned that his work on GTA 6 had actually gotten in the way of his GTAO double life. "I used to be [on NoPixel]," T-Pain told the audience, "and then, how about this shit? I used to be on NoPixel, then I started working on… GTA 6, and [Rockstar] told me I couldn't do RP anymore."
"They had this whole speech, like, 'What if somebody took your album and re-recorded it, and more people were listening to that?'" elaborated T-Pain, suggesting Rockstar felt more than a little prickly about unofficial mods of its games. Either way, T-Pain was gracious: "Okay, I kinda get that," said the rapper, "but I was having a good time!"
So it seems like Rockstar just didn't want a big celebrity publicising unsanctioned and unofficial servers, especially if that celebrity was appearing in an official Rockstar product.
The irony is, of course, that Rockstar's position eventually changed. Last year, the company acquired Cfx.re, which makes the mods on which servers like NoPixel are based. T-Pain noticed. "Then they teamed up with the people that make the RP shit!" he chuckled, prompting a stunned "Wow" from one of his on-stream companions.
"I'm like, 'Wait a minute, what!? What the fuck!?'" continued T-Pain, laughing, "Y'all told me I couldn't do this shit then y'all teamed up with the people that enable the RP shit to happen? Anyways, whatever."
To be fair, T-Pain doesn't seem too put out by the whole situation, and takes it all in good humour. I have to imagine that's helped by what must be a fairly hefty paycheque from Rockstar, but still, it's quite funny that the most self-consciously inscrutable major game company is baffling even its own celebrity hires. I suppose he only has to wait until 2025—when GTA 6 is scheduled to hit shelves—before he can get back to RPing his heart out.