T-Pain doesn’t like Dark Souls. He’s a busy dude. When he’s not pioneering pop music trends, touring, winning reality TV competitions, or livetweeting Game of Thrones, he likes to relax, and FromSoftware’s brand of unforgiving action-RPG doesn’t really gel with that.
But for T-Pain, being busy never gets in the way of being shockingly affable, so when I insisted on making him play Dark Souls 3 in his precious spare hours before a sold-out show in Philadelphia, he was totally down.
Jorah big mad. I can’t deal with his thirsty flip flopping ass. #got— T-Pain (@TPAIN) April 22, 2019
If you haven’t been following T-Pain closely, it might be a surprise to learn that the man loves to game. It’s been a huge part of his personal life since the days of The Lion King on SNES, and as an up-and-coming musician in Atlanta, he built and sold PCs to fund his first studio.
His latest album is called 1UP, and the title reflects where he is in his career. He’s found “an extra life, another chance to beat the game.”
T-Pain’s biggest platform for sharing his love for games is Twitch, where he streams whenever he can. He’s a serious gamer in that he seriously loves games— he’s not trying to prove anything to his audience. He loves to play team-oriented shooters like Overwatch and Apex Legends, but he’s not an esports virtuoso. He calls out his own mistakes and laughs at the ensuing disasters. While some streamers’ prominence hinges on their in-game performance, T-Pain creates a more casual vibe. You’re laughing along with him as he misfires his ults, sips cognac, and takes huge rips off his vape rig.
For a long time he felt like playing games was something he’d be shamed for, but he’s let that anxiety go. “I want people to move past that. It’s not about what other people think about what you like. You like it.”
I felt a little guilty forcing T-Pain to play Dark Souls 3, a game he says “frustrates the fuck out of [him],” but I knew with a little guidance and patience, he had what it took to git gud.
Check out the video to see how T-Pain’s completely accurate in-game avatar fares against Iudex Gundyr, the game’s gatekeeper boss. Don’t forget to subscribe to Polygon on YouTube for more.