The I’m ‘n Luv (Wit A Stripper) artist is speaking out as part of a new upcoming Netflix docuseries about the music industry called This Is Pop. And on Monday night, a quick clip of his sit-down interview made its way around social media, shocking music fans and getting a LOT of reaction based on the rapper-turned-singer’s own words.
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Speaking candidly about an infamous 2013 chat with Usher that went horribly wrong, the Tallahassee-born performer recalled how criticism from the R&B singer led to a major depressive episode that lasted years. And it all had to do with the fact that T-Pain was, at the time, a highly influential artist thanks to his use of Auto-Tune that was being copied all over the music industry.
The 35-year-old Florida native explains it like this (below), setting the stage on a flight to the BET Awards:
“We were actually going to the 2013 BET Awards. We were all in first class, and I went to sleep. I was awakened by the flight attendant, she was like, ‘Usher would like to talk to you in the back.’ So I got up and went back, and it was like, ‘hey, how is everything going,’ quick small talk, no big deal. And then he was like, ‘man I want to tell you something.’ I was like, ‘OK, what’s good?’ I didn’t know what he was about to say, he sounded real concerned.”
Usher’s tone and attitude quickly devolved from there, and before T-Pain could even realize what was going on, the impromptu meeting became a full-on verbal assault:
“He was like, ‘man, you kind of f**ked up music.’ I didn’t understand. Usher was my friend. I really respect Usher. And he was like, ‘See, man, you really f**ked up music for real singers.’ I was like, ‘What did I do? I came out and I used Auto-Tune.’He was like, ‘Yeah, you f**ked it up.’ I’m like, ‘But I used it, I didn’t tell everybody else to start using it.’”
That’s a very good point by the Bartender artist, but it fell on deaf ears.
And the conversation had lasting effects on him, too, sadly. As he recalled in the new docuseries, that chat stuck with T-Pain for years after (below):
“Literally at that point, I couldn’t listen. Is he right? Did I f**k this up? Did I f**k up music?! And that is the very moment, and I don’t even think I realized this for a long time, that was the very moment that started like a four-year depression in me.”
You can see and feel the raw emotion coming from the prolific performer as he retells the story in the interview clip (below):
Jeez. You can’t help but feel for him…
Of course, T-Pain has been one of the best known and most influential performers to experiment with Auto-Tune for pitch correction and vocal effects in his songs over the last couple decades. He’s far from the only one, though; in fact, in interviews, he has previously noted he was inspired to use Auto-Tune after hearing it in Cher‘s 1998 smash Believe and a popular remix of Jennifer Lopez‘s 1999 single If You Had My Love.
Beyond the T-Pain story, This Is Pop looks to be pretty interesting, overall. It’ll explore all of the biggest and most influential moments in the history of pop music, with interviews featuring the likes of Chuck D, Shania Twain, Oasis, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys, and many, many more. The series drops on Netflix on Tuesday.
Reactions, Perezcious readers?! Are you on T-Pain’s side regarding this awful ambush from Usher? Or do U think pop, hip-hop, and R&B really did take a turn for the worst after T-Pain first came on to the scene in the mid-2000s?
Sound OFF with your opinions on the matter down in the comments (below)…
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