In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, powerhouse music producer, Timbaland, sat down to discuss his journey to a musical comeback. Since the major success of Beyoncé’s 2013 self-titled album, the producer, DJ and songwriter has run into some major roadblocks and minor setbacks, including a near-death OxyContin addiction.
“I was on drugs, dude,” the living legend divulged about his addiction. He then went on to discuss the time that put everything in perspective for him, the moment that made him kick his nearly fatal habit.
“All I can tell you is that there was a light. I woke up trying to catch my breath, like I was underwater.” The producer revealed, adding that he began taking the painkillers more than 10 years ago to assist with a nerve issue from a gunshot wound from years prior. However, the prescription quickly turned into an addiction and the pills began to take over his mind.
“Music is a gift and a curse,” he revealed. “Once you’re not poppin’, 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 sh*t.”
At that point, his addiction began to take over his career; he became dependent on the painkillers. Until one night when he took a near-lethal dose and felt his life flash before his eyes.
“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 said. “I thought about Michael Jackson… I didn’t want to be old and taking these pills.” And that’s when it clicked, he said. He then began to ween himself off the drugs, dealing with withdrawal and self-doubt, but persevering to make it through.
“Right now, I feel like what I can do with my legacy is to give back,” he said. “Which means finding the youth of today. Look at Quincy Jones – he was 50 when he did ‘Thriller!” What’s my ‘Thriller’?”
However, as Timbaland prepares for the get back, he is currently working on new music with Justin Timberlake and he believes it’s going to get him to the next level of his already iconic career.