watch t-pain recreate an iconic smiths video in east la

You read that right; the patron saint of auto tune put on a pair of Morrissey’s signature spectacles to recreate the British band’s 'Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before' video for his new collaboration with Classixx.

by Emily Manning
May 23 2016, 10:20pm

Thick rimmed reading glasses, fixed gear Raleigh cruisers, and portraits of Oscar Wilde. These don't really sound like elements of a T-Pain production, whose previous videos have included mirrored Oakley shades, lava lamps, and very many tophats. Rather, the former formula is textbook Morrissey, the enigmatic if not problematic Smiths frontman who corralled his own fans for the Brit band's most iconic music video, "Stop Me if You Think You've Heard This One Before."

And yet, it's exactly the visual reference for the Florida crooner's newest music video, "Whatever I Want." Contributing vocals to the Classixx-produced track, T-Pain picks up where Mozzer left off, recruiting some of East LA's most hardcore Morrissey fans in place of 80s Manchester cycling enthusiasts (including Jose Maldonado, frontman of Smiths tribute band The Sweet and Tender Hooligans and subject of i-D's Obsessed: The Mexican Morrissey).

"Whatever I Want" arrives just a week after Morrissey launched a campaign to get "The Queen is Dead" back on the iTunes charts after his label refused to reissue the seminal record for its upcoming 30th anniversary next month. Director Daniel Pappas' shot-for-shot remake (filmed using only GoPro cameras) arrives nearly 30 years after the original video, a scrapped single off the band's final studio album, 1987's Strangeways, Here We Come.

Though T-Pain might seem an odd candidate to inherit Moz's emo throne, according to Pappas, the match is fitting. In an email to The Fader, he explained: "The video was inspired by the song's attitude towards doing 'Whatever I want,' T-Pain's well chronicled struggle with depression, the shared sadness of Smiths fans, and how, through all of the depression and sadness, when you look like Morrissey in whatever way you can, everything is going to be okay."

We'll keep our eyes on Moz's mouthpiece True to You for his thoughts on the tribute. 


Text Emily Manning
Image via YouTube