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Posted under: News

T-Pain Reveals Usher Told Him He ‘F**ked Up Music’ With Auto-Tune, Led To Start Of 4-Year Depression

T-Pain said the comment was the beginning of a four-year depression for him.

Rapper T-Pain revealed that he experienced a four-year depression after previous comments made by singer-songwriter Usher about his use of auto-tune.

In a clip for Netflix’s newly released seriesThis is Pop, T-Pain, whose real name is Faheem Rasheed Najm, said Usher told him he was ruining modern music by using auto-tune, Entertainment Weekly reported. He said he realized later that the comments contributed to this struggle with his mental health

"Usher was my friend," T-Pain said. "I really respect Usher. And he was like, 'Man. I'm gonna tell you something, man. You kinda f**cked up music for real singers.'"

T-Pain said he didn’t know what Usher truly meant at the time and "thought he was joking at first, but then he was like, 'Yeah man you really f**ked up music for real singers.'" 

T-Pain said Usher’s comments made him ponder whether he had ruined the music industry, but in his defense said his choice to use auto-tune was a decision he made only for himself. 

“I'm like, 'But I used it, I didn't tell everybody else to start using it,'" T-Pain said he told Usher.  

Usher has not made a comment regarding the incident after the release of the clip. 

In 2014 for NPR's All Things Considered podcast, T-Pain said he was okay with been ridiculed and the growing criticism around his decision to use auto-tune, People reported.  

"People thought I was using it to sound good. But I was just using it to sound different," he said. "And it turned into a whole stifling thing because it was what I did. You know what I'm saying? It's what I do. And this is my style. I'm not gonna change my style because other people are starting to overuse it. Like, that's just weird."

T-Pain dominated the industry with his use of auto-tune, starting with his 2005 hit “I’m Sprung'' featured on his debut album Rappa Ternt Sanga. According to USA Today, the song made the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. His sophomore album in 2007, Epiphany, would reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.

Earlier this month 35-year-old recently appeared on Mike Tyson’s Hotboxin’ podcast where he discussed how he discovered auto-tune and the origins of his hit song, "I'm ‘N Luv (Wit a Stripper)," as Blavity previously reported

The This is Pop series is an eight-part exploration into pop-music. It also feature stories from Chuck D, Babyface and Boyz II Men, according to Entertainment Weekly. It is now streaming on Netflix. 

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Danyella Wilder is a freelance writer and reporter currently based in Southern CA. She is a recent graduate of the Medill School of Journalism M.S. program at Northwestern University where she focused on magazine and feature writing. Danyella has a passion for writing about culture and uses her free time to engage in sustainable living practices.