I don't love or hate T-Pain. I just take him for what he is: a freakin' hook machine.

I'm not looking to him for substance or octaves, but catchy hollow melodies. I remember seeing his funny-looking ass barefoot (I think) in the "I'm Sprung" video three years ago. People complained about his Vocoder left and right, but it didn't bother me for some reason. I was just indifferent...And then R. Kelly's "I'm A Flirt" and Pain's own "Buy U A Drank" came out.

Man, I've done some of my best "both in the club singing off key" to "Buy U A Drank." From that point on, it just seemed like T. Pizzle kept coming with monstrous hooks, especially on other folks' records.  Me and a few of the staffers were talking Pain earlier today and I thought of something. The man has recorded so many cameos, I was wondering whether he already out-recorded what Nate Dogg has done (in 16 years) since coming out in 2005. Not so much. According to the every "trustworthy" wikipedia, Nate (Nate Dogg Discography) has recorded 192 guest appearances while Pain (T-Pain Discography) has 117.

It really doesn't matter in the end, though. If I'm giving one of these dudes 50k off the budget, it better be a Billboard Hot 100 No.1 investment. But interestingly, despite providing timeless hooks for titanic singles like Ludacris' "Area Codes," Dr. Dre's "Next Episode" and Warren G's "Regulate," Nate's only No. 1 came with 50 Cent's "21 Questions."

What about Pain? Well, he can't sing, can't dance, can't dress, can't spell and he's apparently no Mariah Carey either. The self-proclaimed "Ring Leader" has three No. 1 singles, including "Buy U A Drank," Chris Brown's "Kiss Kiss" and Flo Rida's "Low." Those other records may have charted as high as No. 7, (Kanye West's "The Good Life") but they never reached the top.

Meanwhile, Akon, the other hook machine, has two number ones: "Don't Matter" and "I Wanna Luv U." But T-Pain apparently isn't going anywhere. I never really knocked dude, but I'd be lying if I thought he'd be dropping his third album (Thr33 Ringz) on November 11th, 2008. He definitely struck me as flash in the pan. But now, I'm convinced. Pain probably won't be around in 2021, which would make his a16-year veteran like Nate Dogg is today, but he'll be here for a few more years. Furthermore, he's already done enough to be crowned the hookman G.O.A.T.

What do you guys think? Does Nate still hold the crown? Should Akon be looked at more closely? My money's on the Ring Leader. -Jackpot