Popular artist T-Pain is opening up about how a negative comment from Usher kicked off a depressing period in his life.
In a clip from the upcoming Netflix series “This Is Pop,” published by Entertainment Weekly Monday, the singer, whose real name is Faheem Rasheed Najm, revealed he fell into a years-long depression after Usher criticized his use of Auto-Tune in music.
“Usher was my friend,” T-Pain said in the clip. “I really respect Usher. And he was like, ‘Man. I’m gonna tell you something, man. You kinda (expletive) up music.’
T-Pain said he let out a “nervous chuckle” at the comment but soon realized Usher wasn’t kidding.
“I didn’t understand,” he said. “I thought he was joking at first, but then he was like, ‘Yeah man you really (expletive) up music for real singers.’ ”
According to T-Pain, Usher’s comment was the beginning of a trying time for his mental health.
“I’m like, ‘But I used it, I didn’t tell everybody else to start using it,’ ” T-Pain said. “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.”
T-Pain almost single-handedly popularized the use of the pitch-altering technology Auto-Tune in hip-hop, beginning with his 2005 debut hit single, “I’m Sprung,” which made it to the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
“This Is Pop” is an eight-part series uncovering the real stories behind some of the biggest artists and moments in pop music history, according to Netflix’s description. In addition to T-Pain, it will feature interviews with Shania Twain, Boyz II Men, Chuck D, Brandi Carlile, Neko Case and more. The series will be released in full Tuesday.