T-Pain has spoken out about some comments he received from Usher about his use of auto-tune in music, and revealed that the interaction sparked a years-long depression for him. T-Pain sat down for an upcoming interview with the new Netflix series This Is Pop, and a clip of the conversation made its way online via Entertainment Weekly. In the snippet from the larger conversation, T-Pain shared that, several years ago, he and Usher spoke on a plane while on their way to the 2013 BET Awards, and afterward he fell into a long depressive period.
"Usher was my friend," T-Pain began, after letting out a deep sigh over reliving the encounter. "I really respect Usher. And he was like, 'Man. I'm gonna tell you something, man. You kinda f—ed up music.'" T-Pain said that he laughed nervously, thinking maybe Usher was kidding with him, but he soon understood that wasn't the case. "I didn't understand," he said. "I thought he was joking at first, but then he was like, 'Yeah man you really f—ed up music for real singers.'"
T-Pain is one of the nicest most genuine people I’ve met and everyone at Adult Swim loves him, he’s family. Usher, Jay Z, Kanye, and Future (among many others) owe him an apology. He’s a pioneer and they weren’t ready. That’s on THEM. https://t.co/XpCrHWHGxz— SPIRAL CURSE DEMARCO (@Clarknova1) June 22, 2021
T-Pain went on to share that he felt like his use of Auto-tune was no different than what other artists had been doing. "I'm like, 'But I used it, I didn't tell everybody else to start using it.'" The singer then explained how impactful Usher's comments were on his mental health. "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."
It is notable that T-Pain points specifically to 2013 being the beginning of four-year depression for him. He had released the album Revolver in 2011, but did not release his next album, Oblivion, until 2017. In 2019, T-Pain was revealed as the winner of the first season of the U.S. version of The Masked Singer, performing as the Monster. The same day he won the celebrity reality competition show, T-Pain dropped his surprise sixth album, 1UP. Usher went on to lose the Best Male R&B Artist to Miguel at the 2013 BET Awards show.