Timbo reveals that he nearly died
The recent death of Lil Peep from an apparent overdose has more than a few people reflecting on their own struggles with substance abuse and Timbaland is no exception.
As the hyper-influential producer plans to launch a comeback, he sat down with Rolling Stone to talk about his long struggle with prescription drug abuse and how he eventually found a way out.
Timbo told the magazine that his troubles started when his career began to wane.
“Music is a gift and curse,” he said. “Once you’re not popping, it plays with your mind. The pills helped block out the noise… I remember Jay-Z told me one time, ‘Don’t do no more interviews’ – because I was saying crazy sh-t.”
The addiction got so bad that Timbaland experienced a near-fatal overdose. He described the terrifying ordeal in his interview with Rolling Stone
“All I can tell you is that there was a light,” he said. “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. But I thought about Michael Jackson. I didn’t want to be old and taking these pills.”
Waking up nearly dead was a literal wake-up call for Timbaland, who kicked his habit and is currently working on getting his career back on track. Though he’s been at it for a while, he looks at his own heroes for inspiration on how to restart a career later in life.
“I’ve never felt better,” he continued. “I’m doing stuff I never knew I could do.”
“Right now, I feel like what I can do with my legacy is to give back,” he adds. “Which means finding the youth of today. Look at Quincy Jones – he was 50 when he did Thriller! What’s my Thriller?”
It might not be his Thriller, but Timbaland has started working with his own version of MJ. He’s rekindled his long-standing relationship with Justin Timberlake to work on a yet-to-be-titled album. Timbo says that the new stuff from JT is going to put both of them back at the top.
“The music we just made?” Timbaland said. “It’s gonna put him on another plateau.”
It’s not just the older generation reflecting on their drug use. Lil Uzi Vert is taking a stab at sobriety after Peep’s death.
“Sober 2 day I have been shaking,” he wrote of his first clean day. “I have been cursing my love ones out and fighting/In the studio with no thoughts in my head. Teeth biting down because I just wanna be angry at something, Maybe I will just smoke weed tonight.”
Timbaland and Lil Uzi Vert aren’t the only ones using the tragedy of Lil Peep’s untimely passing as an opportunity for reflection. Other rappers have been inspired to call out artists who glamorize drug use amid a nationwide opioid epidemic.
“Abusing xanax and other pills drugs etc in private cuz your depressed/other mental issues is one thing(still not good),” wrote rapper Russ. “Constantly recording yourself doing drugs and putting up pics and videos of doing it is when you start CHOOSING to publicly glorify it and make it an image.”
Check out Timbaland’s whole interview over at Rolling Stone. What do you think? Will Timbo come back into the mainstream? Sound off in the comments and be sure to SHARE this article.