T-Pain is opening up about a dark period in his life, revealing he was depressed over comments from a fellow artist claiming he ruined the industry with autotune.
In a newly-released clip from the upcoming Netflix series, This Is Pop–which was published by Entertainment Weekly on Monday–T-Pain reveals he fell into a years-long depression after being criticized by Usher for his use of Auto-Tune.
“Usher was my friend,” the famous producer said in the clip. “I really respect Usher. And he was like, ‘Man. I’m gonna tell you something, man. You kinda f***ed up music.'”
At the time, T-Pain said he let out a “nervous chuckle” after hearing the comment–but it didn’t take long to realize the singer wasn’t kidding.
“I didn’t understand,” he continued. “I thought he was joking at first, but then he was like, ‘Yeah man you really (expletive) up music for real singers.’ “
That comment, according to T-Pain, was the beginning of a really rough time for his mental health.
“I’m like, ‘But I used it, I didn’t tell everybody else to start using it,'” T-Pain argued. “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 Auto-Tune in hip-hop almost 20 years ago, beginning with his 2005 debut hit single, “I’m Sprung.” Usher wasn’t the only one to criticize him for his use of the pitch-altering technology, with Jay-Z releasing “Death Of Autotune” in 2009, though he gave T-Pain his props and only criticized the rappers hopping on the trend he created years later.
“The guys who did it, did it great,” Jay-Z explained to Funkmaster Flex and Mister Cee on Hot 97. “T-Pain, he does great melodies. If you listen to Kanye, great melodies. If you listen to [West’s] ‘Say You Will’ or ‘Heartless,’ great melodies. Lil Wayne ‘Lollipop’ was a fantastic melody.”
He continued, “Everybody can’t do it. Let them guys do it. They got their little niche, let’s move on. That’s just my opinion. I don’t know if everybody feels the same way.”