Multi-Grammy award-winning recording artist and producer T-Pain has direct lineage with FAMU’s Marching 100. His father, Shaheed Najm, marched in the Marching 100 as a drummer . That history has shaped T-Pain’s career.
In fact, the elder Najm was known for his skills in the Marching 100. He played under the director of legendary FAMU band director Dr. William P. Foster. This was during the time the the Marching 100 achieved some of its elite recognition.
T-Pain has often talked about listening to his father play the drums and the impact that FAMU’s Marching 100 has had on his career as an artist. T-Pain’s drum programming has been a big part of his success as a writer and producer.
With his popularity locally, the Marching 100 has adopted one of his songs as a regular hit. What makes it special is that it is not one of T-Pain’s major hits like “I’m Sprung”, “All IDo is Win” or megahit “Buy You a Drank.” The song is called “Dance Floor.” It is an uptempo song that is truly reminiscent of the Florida sound. The Marching 100 plays part of the song and sings part of it. The FAMU student section loves it and goes crazy whenever it comes on.
T-pain said growing up he wanted to be in the Marching 100. I guess making hits out of high school will change your goals.
As part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop, the City of Tallahassee is honoring him for his achievements. He achieved the success he has with coming from one of the most challenged areas of Tallahassee. He withstood the issues he had with his upbringing to make himself a household name.