November 27, 2017
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
Arguably one of our generation’s best producers, Timbaland revealed to Rolling Stone that his deadly addiction to OxyContin almost took his life.
While the 45-year-old hit maker has expertly navigated his way through music over the last two decades, something happened in his 30s that would forever change his life. He started treating himself with prescription drugs after suffering from nerve issues resulting from a gunshot wound he suffered as a teenager.
“I was on drugs. I was on OxyContin. Music is a gift and curse. Once you’re not popping, it plays with your mind. The pills helped block out the noise – I’d just sleep all day. I remember Jay-Z told me one time, ‘Don’t do no more interviews’ – because I was saying crazy shit.”
Timbland does recall having a near-death experience about three years ago.
“All I can tell you is that there was a light. I woke up trying to catch my breath, like I was underwater. But through that whole thing I saw life – I saw where I would be if I don’t change, and where I could be if I did,” he tells the magazine.
So what made him open up about his addiction? The deaths of Chris Cornell, a longtime collaborator and Michael Jackson and Prince, inspired him to kick the dangerous habit.
“I came from the era of drug dealers [making rap hits]. Now we’re in the era of drug users. These kids come from a place where they don’t have money, don’t have a real home,” he says. “It affects them, and you hear it in the music.”
Nowadays the super producer is healthy and raising his 10-year-daughter.
As far as music? He just finished production on Justin Timberlake‘s upcoming album and he’s even joined forces with some of music’s younger generation like Sam Smith and Young Thug.