Rapper T-Pain has revealed that he suffered from depression for four years after Usher told him that he “f****d up music”.
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****d up music.’”
The “DJ Got Us Falling in Love Again” singer’s remarks were a reference to Najm’s continuous utilisation of Auto-tune to change his voice in songs like “Low”, “Blame It” and “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” among others.
The singer recalled thinking that Usher was joking, but he wasn’t. “And then he was like, ‘Yeah man you really f***ed up music for real singers.’ I was like, ‘What did I do? I came out and I used Auto-Tune,’” T-Pain said.
“He was like, ‘Yeah, you f****d 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 realised this for a long time, but that’s the very moment that started a four-year depression for me.”
The Independent has contacted Usher’s representative for comment.
American rapper Jay-Z also scrutinised the practice of singers using autotune by dropping a song called “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” in 2009.
This is not 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 said. “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!”
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This Is Pop, featuring stories of Babyface, Boys II Men, Shania Twain, Chuck D, Backstreet Boys, Blur, and more, is out now on Netflix.