Singer and rapper T-Pain is opening up about his lengthy battle with depression, which began after Usher allegedly insulted his music.
In a brief clip from the new docuseries “This Is Pop,” out Tuesday on Netflix, T-Pain reflects on an alleged conversation with the “Yeah!” singer that he said negatively affected his mental health.
In the video, which has gone viral on social media, T-Pain says he was asleep on a first-class plane ride to Los Angeles for the 2013 BET Awards when a flight attendant woke him and informed him that Usher wanted to speak with him.
“Usher was my friend. I really respect Usher,” the “Buy U a Drank” artist says in the video, adding that his contemporary “sounded real concerned.”
“He was like, ‘Man, I wanna tell you something, man. You kinda f— up music.’ I chuckled a little bit. It was a nervous chuckle, but I chuckled. I didn’t understand. I thought he was joking at first, but then he was like, ‘Nah, man. You really f— up music for real singers.’”
T-Pain is known for heavily Auto-Tuning his vocals, producing a tinny and distorted sonic effect that has become popular across various genres of music.
“I was like, ‘What did I do? I came out, and I used Auto-Tune.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, you f— it up,’” T-Pain repeats in the Netflix teaser.
“I’m like ... ‘But I used it. I didn’t tell everyone else to start using it.’ That is the very moment — and I don’t even think I realized this for a long time — that’s the very moment that started a four-year depression for me.”
The snippet from “This Is Pop,” which has amassed more than 3.9 million views on Twitter alone, prompted an outpouring of support for T-Pain from fans who hailed the “Bartender” hit-maker as a musical “pioneer” while slamming Usher as a “demon.”
“Usher put T-Pain into depression by saying autotune f— up music and then went and released ‘OMG’ a song full of autotune that went No.1,” tweeted one person. “This man a whole demon.”
“T-Pain said he didn’t realize for years that his depression started because of Usher’s comment,” wrote another. “That’s literally how mental disorders show up. It takes years to unravel feelings & find the trigger. Though when you find the trigger, you find things run deeper. Be kind to people.”
A representative for Usher did not immediately respond Tuesday to the Los Angeles Times’ request for comment.
This isn’t the first time T-Pain has spoken candidly about feeling slighted by his fellow musicians. In the past, multiple artists — from Kanye West to Jay-Z — have criticized T-Pain’s signature sound, according to a 2014 New Yorker profile titled “The Sadness of T-Pain.”
“People are just terrible, man,” T-Pain told the LA Times in 2014. “I just don’t get it. I think I’ve said the phrase ‘Why would you do that to a person?’; I think I’ve said that phrase well over 2,000 times in the last year.
“There’s just so much crap that gets done to artists. Two-sided things. Oh, man, I wish I would have known how two-sided people are. I just wish I knew not to trust all the people that say that they’re your friends.”