Posted: June 19th, 2009 at 2:27 pm | By: Calvin Gilbert
Leave it to Taylor Swift to be an overachiever. "Thug Story," her humorous rap collaboration with T-Pain, now holds the record as the most-streamed video premiere ever on CMT.com. Not bad, especially considering that the two artists spent all of 90 minutes in the studio to put the finishing touches on the lyrics and record the audio track. (It can often take that long to set the volume and EQ levels on the microphones in the studio.) When the producers of the CMT Music Awards were looking for an unexpected way to open the show, Swift was excited when approached about working with T-Pain. Accepting the offer, she quickly arrived at a different take on one of her hits and said, "We'll take 'Love Story' and make it 'Thug Story.'"
She initially planned to write the entire thing herself, but she ran out of time because of her tour schedule. With her approval, CMT execs tossed the assignment to a young rock band — Hot Chelle Rae, a Nashville-based outfit that includes lead vocalist Ryan Follese and guitarist Nash Overstreet. (Huge fans of both Swift and T-Pain, the band will release their major label debut album this summer on Jive Records.) In about eight hours, the two musicians submitted the lyrics and an audio track for the song. (They even slid in a sly reference to "I'm on a Boat," T-Pain's previous music video collaboration with comedian Andy Samberg for Saturday Night Live.) Swift and T-Pain provided additional lyrics to "Thug Story," tweaking things before recording their vocals.
Proving that she understands importance of irony in a project like this, it was Swift's idea to rap about living with her parents and bragging about her involvement in such gangsta activities as baking cookies and knitting. She also came up the erroneous bleeped in part of her lyrics. Now that the song is so popular, you have to wonder if Swift will add it to the set list for her summer tour.