Timbaland Opens Up About Painkiller Addiction
"Music is a gift and curse. Once you're not popping, it plays with your mind. The pills helped block out the noise"
Published Nov 27, 2017Legendary producer Timbaland has opened up about his struggles with addiction, revealing he nearly suffered a near-death overdose.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, the artist born Timothy Mosey revealed that he began taking OxyContin in his 30s to help with nerve issues stemming from a gunshot wound suffered as a teenager. As his usage became rampant, his chart success declined and marriage collapsed, leading him to struggle with a cycle of depression and addiction.
"Music is a gift and curse," he told the publication. "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."
Timbaland's now-girlfriend told Rolling Stone that "it was so bad, to the point where I couldn't even sleep...I'd put my hand right by his nose, just to see if he was still breathing."
The magazine also notes that friends and industry peers Pharrell Williams and Swizz Beatz were checking in regularly to give him pep talks.
Timbaland said he survived a near-death overdose while sleeping three years ago, recalling 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."
After weaning himself off the medication and experiencing withdrawal, he "thought about Michael Jackson... I didn't want to be old and taking these pills."
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Timbaland also revealed in the piece that he's finished work on a new record from Justin Timberlake, saying the music is "gonna put [Justin] on another plateau."
In addition, Timbaland is at work on a solo record, featuring collaborations with Timberlake, Malik and Rick Ross.