Ever since rapper T-Pain posted a 27-part, 81-minute TikTok series about his experience with mechanic and drifter George Grob, Grob says his life has collapsed. Speak with road & track over the phone, he says that T-Pain’s followers insulted him, told him to take his own life, and sent him threats against himself and his family. Most of all, he wants to make it clear that he knows he screwed up.
For the uninitiated, mechanic and drifter George Grob did some work on T-Pain’s Pickle Rick drift car. When he had an accident with the car at an event, he brought it back to his workshop to be repaired. After being offered a place at Discovery’s getaway driver reality show, he asked to use T-Pain’s car and unfortunately (when predictably) crashed it again.
After over a year of back-and-forth, T-Pain released a 27-part series of videos on TikTok, in which he accused Grob of letting his car languish at the shop, repeatedly told him it was almost done, and that of underestimated the damage done to him. and finally to deliver a botched, cobbled together car in worse shape than it left T-Pain.
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“It was the wrong decision to do that, I’m not trying to fight it at all,” Grob said road & track. “The whole process was all my fault. I don’t want to fight any of that. I accept the blame for everything. His car was never a priority for me, for a long time it wasn’t. Because my main focus was, we had a huge paycheck, we had Huge overheads, we had a bit of debt at the time and we were barely breaking even.”
Grob does not disagree with the core of T-Pain’s allegation. But he repeatedly clarified that he wasn’t trying to take advantage or cheat, just trying to stay afloat in a situation he quickly found he wasn’t prepared for. He didn’t have the money or time to get an engine swap up and running, and admits that rather than fully communicating the severity of the issue, he bought time by giving T-Pain deadlines he wasn’t aware of was confident that he could keep them. The reason, he says, is that while he’s a great mechanic, he learned how to run a business on the side.
“I’m not good at running the business, I tell people that all the time,” Grob said in a refrain familiar to many people involved in the job of running and operating a dealership. Many very successful stores close year after year, not because of the quality of their work, but because of the difficulty in handling the in and out of cars. “I’m doing my best, I’m not an economist, I dropped out of high school my sophomore year. I know how the fuck you build a car but I don’t know how to drive it I’ve been trying to set up a management for a long time and finally I did it and then we started getting things done.
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In general, he admits that the lack of organization was his problem that he needed to fix, saying that the vast majority of Atlanta performance shops that fail do so because they are similarly disorganized. He has no problem being cast so slowly or being overwhelmed at times. His real problem is being portrayed as a cheater, as Grob said he absolutely stands behind the mechanical work. He notes that while T-Pain criticized the packaging and cosmetics, he said nothing about the mechanics.
As for the inferior wrap, Grob insists he told T-Pain the car wouldn’t arrive fully wrapped while they waited for another roll of wrap. While at SEMA, he said he met with the packaging company owner to get it shipped quickly. Parts of the car were left unpacked, and according to Grob, his mechanic took it upon himself to hastily pack up the mirrors and other uncovered components. But he notes that T-Pain didn’t show the other panels, which he says were correctly done by his friend Tiffany. He says he explained the car’s not-quite-there status to T-Pain before it was delivered, but says the conversation was over the phone. In the texts – which Grob confirmed as genuine – T-Pain seems to think the car will be ready by the agreed date.
Anyway, Grob isn’t happy with how T-Pain has handled it from then on. He said he considers T-Pain a “great person,” “a good friend,” and someone for whom he has “the utmost respect.” But he also called him a “bitch” on several occasions, and he’d told his friends so after finding out T-Pain had publicly attacked him and blocked his number. Speaking shortly after, Grob said T-Pain said something along the lines of, “Now who’s a bitch?”
“I didn’t call him a bitch to piss him off, I called him a bitch because he’s a bitch,” Grob said. “He handled the situation like a slut at the time.”
He was particularly hurt by the suggestion that the work was shoddy. He referenced several cars at his store that he believes are “SEMA-enabled,” and noted a list of customers that he says includes billionaires, NFL players and other celebrities. And he’s upset that T-Pain wouldn’t show evidence of his work beyond a wrap he had no part in applying. To question him as a mechanic, says Grob, is disrespectful.
“I’m not telling him he’s a beat-up old rapper who’s not going anywhere. I’m not doing it because I have respect for him,” he said R&T
Throughout the call, Grob vacillated between praising T-Pain and dropping harmful anecdotes, including a time T-Pain allegedly made Usher cry after confronting the singer about using Autotune. In general, though, he says he was disappointed by the fact that building T-Pain’s cars didn’t give him much “impact” anyway, and that this whole debacle is far more damaging than anything he’s ever wrought out of their relationship.
In fact, at least one person pulled their car from Grob’s GMG Automotive shop when Hunter Broadhead posted a series of photos of a bare BMW E46 shell on Facebook with a pile of parts next to it on Wednesday: “It’s 2 years and an obscene sum spent in the Prepaid gets you one. Without the paint. (This was done by someone else and they did a great job) $—— for them to disassemble your entire car and then put it outside in the parking lot.”
Most importantly, Grob wanted to clarify that T-Pain was not being charged $11,000 to work on the Nissan, but that much to work on the Nissan and do a complete cooling system rebuild for his E46. He says that by waving this number around, T-Pain lies about the damage he’s done and undermines his reputation. He even suggested that T-Pain and his mechanic – whom T-Pain praises and was also allegedly responsible for the poor foiling of the mirrors – might have tried to trick Grob. He had no evidence to back up this claim, other than the fact that the mechanic resigned shortly thereafter.
He always intended to fix the foil and finish the tune on the car to make sure T-Pain was happy, but he’s not sure he’ll have the opportunity now. As we spoke, he said the majority of his employees had resigned and he was hiding abroad with his family. According to Grob, people were passing by the house, scaring him for his life and family. He shared a screenshot R&T a threatening message from someone who appears angry on behalf of T-Pain.
“If he portrays me as a fraud, then people get violent,” he said. In fact, he said, with the help of a more business-oriented manager, he just finished revising their workflow. The store, he said, recognized his problem. It just took time, and apparently too much of it for T-Pain.
“I’ve tried so hard to keep everyone happy because I’m a people’s delight. Yes, it turned out that I just refined all of them. I wasn’t trying to manipulate him, I was just trying to help him understand that I need a little more time, that I had a little more money just to be patient with me, and I know he does was patient with me, but it wasn’t long enough.
He repeated throughout the call, “I’m not a crook” and “I know I made a mistake.” He knows people are angry and that he deserves criticism, but struggles with how brutal people are were online. Grob said he doesn’t expect his reputation to recover.
“I put my life savings into this business and now there’s nothing left.”