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T-Pain, Busta, Luda, and Diddy Throw Down in NYC


Monday night T-Pain brought his hip-hop circus to New York City for a MySpace Music Release Show, celebrating the arrival of his much-anticipated third album, Thr33 Rings, out today. Performing to a room full of dancing fans and music industry players at the Hiro Ballroom, T-Pain, 23, rattled off the sing-rap style he’s notorious for. However, the Tallahassee, FL, MC left the auto-tuning and studio trickery behind, and just relied on his backing tracks and diamond-encrusted microphone.

For more than two hours, T-Pain pulled out all the tricks to keep the audience hooked — and succeeded. He had a creepy mime in cornrows and two midgets join him onstage throughout the set, while a girl dancing on stilts weaved her way throughout the crowd. Ripping a page out of the hip-hop handbook, T-Pain brought friends (and even his brother and uncle) up to sing along to an assortment of his biggest hits, including “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” and “I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper).”

Diddy showed up to be T-Pain’s “hype man” for a track, as did Busta Rhymes, who impressed with a quick flow on his hit “Break Ya Neck.” A relaxed Ludacris also briefly popped up for their latest single “Chopped N’ Skrewed.” But to everyone’s disappointment, though not surprise, Lil’ Wayne was a no show. His infectious free-styling was missed during “Got Money” and the first single off Thr33 Rings, “Can’t Believe It.”

Other players from the industry stopped by to pay tribute, including DJ Khaled and BMG label group chairman Barry Weiss, who declared, “Buy the muthafuckin album, full price,” to which T-Pain responded, “I make him all the money, so I can say whatever I want to him.”

It was a hip-hop circus and T-Pain was no doubt the ringleader.

More photos after the jump!

T-Pain / Photo by Sean O’Kane

T-Pain with Busta Rhymes / Photo by Sean O’Kane

Ludacris / Photo by Sean O’Kane

T-Pain / Photo by Sean O’Kane

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