T-Pain revealed he suffered from depression for four years after Usher told him that he “f—ed up music” while aboard a flight together.
In a new eight-part Netflix documentary called This Is Pop, the 35-year-old record producer (real name Faheem Rasheed Najm), said, “Usher was my friend. I really respect Usher and he said, ‘I’m gonna tell you something, man. You kinda f—ed up music.’”
The “Yeah!” singer’s remarks were referring to T-Pain’s continuous use of Auto-Tune to change his voice in songs like “Low”, “Blame It” and “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’).”
While they were en route to the 2013 BET Awards, T-Pain recalled being woken up by a flight attendant who told him that Usher was waiting for him in the back. He said after a bit of small talk, he said Usher wanted to tell him something and sounded “real concerned.”
He remembers Usher saying, “‘Man, you kind of f—ed up music.’ I didn’t understand. Usher was my friend,” T-Pain said. “He was was like, ‘Nah man, you really f—ed up music for real singers.’ Literally, at that point, I couldn’t listen. Is he right? Did I f— this up, did I f— up music?”
“I was like, ‘What did I do? I came out and I used Auto-Tune,’” T-Pain said. “He was like, ‘Yeah, you f—ed it up.’ I’m like, ‘But I used it, I didn’t tell everybody else to start using it.’”
He continued: “That is the very moment, and I don’t even think I realized this for a long time, but that’s the very moment that started a four-year depression for me.”
Jay-Z has also scrutinized singers using auto-tune when he dropped 2009’s “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” featuring lyrics, “You n—-s jeans too tight/You colors too bright, your voice too light.”
This isn’t the first time T-Pain has publicly shared stories about his battle with depression. In 2014, he told The New Yorker about how the backlash against his music made him feel.
“People are, like, ‘You’re rich!’ What’re you so worried about?’ “ he told the publication. “And I’m, like, money ain’t the issue here. Yeah, I can buy s—. But I want people to like me, too! God damn!”
This Is Pop features stories of Babyface, Boys II Men, Lil Nas X, Shania Twain, Hozier, Chuck D, Backstreet Boys, Blur, and more, out now on Netflix.
You can watch an NSFW (strong language) clip from the doc below: