Atlanta’s T-Pain is throwing a barbecue, and you may be invited

Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, producer takes on persona of Cousin T in new series for Lipton

T-Pain is transforming into Cousin T for the summer.The Atlanta rapper, singer, songwriter, producer and podcaster will appear in a series of digital ads for Lipton.In the Lipton episodes, Cousin T reconnects with family while introding new tea flavors.He recently won the television singing competition "The Masked Singer.".The performer was born in Florida, but has lived in Atlanta for years. He currently is a resident of Roswell

Just call him Cousin T this summer.

Atlanta rapper T-Pain has partnered with Lipton Iced Tea for a digital series called “Have Some Tea with Cousin T.”

“Who doesn’t like Lipton?” the Grammy Award winner said during a recent interview. “I’ve been drinking Lipton for a long time. It’s been a part of, you know, all my functions and get-togethers, whether I’m just chilling with family and anything.”

So what inspired T-Pain, whose given name is Faheem Najm, to join this project?

“When you think of Lipton Iced Tea, you think of the South — and here we are. We all know what Lipton means to the South, how much of a staple it is,” the Roswell resident said from his home studio.

The digital series “represents family, our connections. You know what I’m sayin’? Not being able to connect for a long time last year took us apart, and when they came to me with the idea of bringing the families back together and doing barbecues again... and Lipton is a big part of that,” he continued.

“Yeah, that and money — a winning combination right there.”

He added: “I think I have a personality that would go with each flavor of all all these Southern flavors that are coming out.”

Which Cousin T personality is he most like, though? “I think the zen Cousin T, the chill Cousin T. I’ve been chillin’ a lot at home.” Cousin T’s other personali-teas, as Lipton called them in a press release, are:

  • Southern Sweet Tea when he’s feeling helpful
  • Georgia Peach Tea when he wants to turn up
  • Green Tea when he needs to focus and tune in

This collaboration goes beyond funny commercials. Lipton and T-Pain are giving one lucky person a chance to hang out with the rapper.

“It’s a hot ticket. You can win a barbecue with me,” T-Pain said during our interview.

“I mean, maybe I’ll just get somebody else to cook. You know, I’m doing a keto diet, so it’s pretty much gonna be all just protein — no sides,” he said, laughing. “We’re still trying to figure it out.”

According to Lipton’s press release, they figured it out.

“One grand prize winner will kick it with newly self-proclaimed Grill Master, T-Pain, at the ultimate cookout for a one-of-a-kind experience catered by a local Black-owned restaurant,” the press release reads. “The first prize winner will receive a custom BBQ grill with all the grilling accessories, and a year’s supply of refreshing Lipton Iced Tea.”

You have two ways to enter: Text “GRILLWITHT” to 99888 for instructions from Cousin T or visit, where you can also access T-Pain’s exclusive Spotify summer playlist to amp up your own cookouts. The contest is open to fans throughout the South. You can read the official rules at

In addition, Lipton and T-Pain will donate $5,000 to six local restaurants — $30,000 in total — for restoration and support following the hardships faced last year by the food service community. The grants are being made in partnership with Pepsi Stronger Together, an initiative to support communities across the country.

T-Pain’s partnership with Lipton isn’t his only business venture these days. He recently announced a limited edition Corsair gaming headset. The T-Pain edition of the Vituoso RCB Wireless XT is available now.

“They’re super great,” T-Pain said. “I mean, this is what I’ve been using for a long time, and this is the first time they’ve done Virtuosos in a color.” The T-Pain edition is blue, instead of the usual black or white.

“The T-Pain Edition is, I’m not going to say better, because they’re all great, but it’s unique.”

The rapper has also added mixologist to his resume, with a new book, “Can I Mix You a Drink?

Written with Maxwell Britten, a James Beard Award-winning beverage professional and entrepreneur, the book features 50 drinks from the rapper’s life.

“Maxwell came and showed me a bunch of drinks and how to put a twist on things that I kind of didn’t know,” T-Pain said.

I couldn’t let T-Pain go without asking about “The Masked Singer.” If you aren’t familiar with the show, celebrities compete in a singing competition while wearing elaborate costumes that hide their identity.

“I was definitely super drunk when I agreed to do that,” T-Pain explained. He said he’d actually forgotten that he’d agreed to do the show until the day before he had to pick his costume. “I was like, what? How do we get out of that? and they said, ‘Nah, you gotta do it.’”

T-Pain accepted his fate, but only because he misunderstood the rules.

“I thought the rules were that if they can guess who you are then you would be off the show,” he explained. “And I’m like, I got the most distinct voice in the whole industry right now, so they’re going to guess me the first episode. I’m just gonna do one episode and I get paid? OK, let’s go.”

That one episode, however, turned in to eight weeks, because “whoever has the best performance has to stay, and I’m a great (expletive) performer. And I hate that now, because I had to stay for eight weeks!” he said.

The eight weeks ended with the singer, songwriter, producer and podcaster taking home the trophy and blowing away the celebrity judges.

You can watch all of his performances below.

These days, T-Pain prefers to work from his home in Roswell. His studio is set up for recording not only music, but also his podcasts.

“Yeah, this is my music stream for Twitch and studio’s right here. Podcast is back there,” he said, motioning behind him. “Everything I need I put in this house.”