Timothy Zachery Mosley, known professionally as “Timbaland” is a much more healthier, happier version of himself today, then the person he was three years ago.
That’s because the superstar producer recently revealed that he was an addict.
“I was on drugs, dude,” the 45-year-old music mogul shared with Rolling Stone. “I was on OxyContin.”
Timbaland started taking the powerful pain pills in his 30s to cope with nerve issues he suffered from as a teenager. While dealing with that, his marriage ended and his chart success declined and he found himself taking more and more pills.
“Music is a gift and curse,” he shared. “Once you’re not popping, it plays with your mind. The pills helped block out the noise — I’d just sleep all day.”
He recalls a time when his friend Jay-Z advised him not to do any more interviews, as they were causing more harm than good. His girlfriend Michelle, even became worried Timbaland would die.
“It was so bad, to the point where i couldn’t even sleep,” she said. “I’d put my hand right by his nose, just to see if he was still breathing.”
Timbaland says he suffered a “near death overdose” three years ago, which helped him kick his pill habit and get his life back on track.
“All I can tell you is that there was a light,” Timbaland said of the life-changing event three years ago. “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 would be if i did.”
The following day he began weaning off the pills, and soon after he made a clean break — which resulted in a brutal period of withdrawal. “But i thought about Michael Jackson,” he says. “I didn’t want to be old and taking these pills.”
Timbaland feels compelled to talk about his experience in the wake of the deaths of Chris Cornell, a friend and collaborator who had long battled addiction, and Prince. “I came from an era of drug dealers [making rap hits],” he notes. “Now we’re in the era of drug users.”
He especially wants young fans and musicians to be aware that counterfeit pain pills could contain powerful opiates like fentanyl, and for the music industry as a whole to be more aware of the prevalence of depression in the hip-hop community.
“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.”
Today, Timbaland is more focused on being a parent to his 10-year-old daughter, Reign, and his back in the gym with a mission to get super fit,and so far he has lost an impressive 40 pounds. His also been working on some new music with Justin Timberlake and they just finished their newest project. His also got his solo LP in the works, which will be out next year.
“Right now what i think i can do with my legacy is to give back,” Timbaland says.