In recent years, the conversations surrounding mental health have become more prevalent. Now R&B singer T-Pain is revealing he, too, has had to battle with mental health challenges over the course of his career.
In a Monday, June 21, viral clip from Netflix’s “This Is Pop” series, published by “Entertainment Tonight,” he explained what sparked his struggle with his mental health and, according to him, it was because of another famed R&B singer. Taking a deep breath before starting the story, he said, “We was actually going to the 2013 BET Awards and we’re all in first class.”
Pain, whose real name is Faheem Rasheed Najm, said he eventually fell asleep on the plane, but was awakened by a flight attendant who said Usher was in the back and wanted to speak with him. Pain said after going back and having some small talk Usher said, “ ‘Man I want to tell you something man.’ He sounded real concerned. He was like ‘Man you kinda f-cked up music,” as a reference to T-Pain’s use of Auto-Tune technology in his music. The “Bartender” singer said he first thought Usher was joking. “I didn’t understand. Usher was my friend.”
He continued, “He was like ‘nah man you really f-cked up music for like real singers.’ Literally at that point I couldn’t listen. ‘Is he right? Did I f-ck this up? Did I f-ck up music?’ ” He said, “That is the very moment that started a four-year depression for me.” While Usher has yet to respond to the clip, a lot of fans have responded.
One person said, “So Usher said “TPain fucked up music for real singers” but Usher had nothing to say about how Justin Bieber and that trend affected Black singers in R&B. Like how can you have the audacity to carry that opinion and then go on to endorse a white Canadian in r&b as a GA native?!” Justin Bieber, whose gone on to work with D.J. Khaled multiple times, Travis Scott, Chance the Rapper and more was discovered and mentored by Usher.
Another person supporting T-Pain wrote, “Nahhh T-pain just changed the game and gave more ppl the opportunity to be apart of the music scene. He basically created a new sub/section for R&B.”
Someone else said, “Auto tune existed before TPAIN Teddy Riley Roger & Zapp Hell Teddy used it to launch a whole new music genre in the 90s Nobody is going after him (not 4 that at least).”
Some people agreed that although Usher could have perhaps softened his comment, he wasn’t wrong. “Well I mean… talking emotion out of it… there really has been a decline in r&b production since tpain (who can actually sing) came out and caused ppl to just start winging it w/auto tune. So although cut throat he may be on to something,” said one fan.
T-Pain has also not made any additional comments since the clip went viral and Usher has yet to respond.