Music producer Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley has opened up about his struggles with OxyContin addiction.


The four-time Grammy winner, who is now in recovery, recently talked about his addiction to the opiate drug. He recalled an incident three years ago that almost took his life. “All I can tell you is that there was a light,” he told Rolling Stone. “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.”

The 45-year-old singer, songwriter, and producer shared that his addiction began in his 30s, when he took pain medication for a nerve issue following a gunshot wound. He fell into a cycle of depression, causing both his career and relationships to be strained. “I felt like I wasn’t committed, I was riding off ego,” Timbaland reflected. “It was really about me neglecting my gift. As a producer and a soundmaker, I had to find out what God had in store for me.”

“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. I remember Jay-Z told me one time, ‘Don’t do no more interviews,’ because I was saying crazy s–t.”

His now-girlfriend Michelle adds that she was worried about him. “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.”

After his overdose three years ago, Timbaland began cutting back and finally kicked the habit. “I thought about Michael Jackson,” he said. “I didn’t want to be old and taking these pills.” The deaths of long-time friend Chris Cornell and inspiration Prince compelled the rapper to tell his story. He wants to make sure young folk who listen to today’s music aren’t tempted to start doing drugs themselves. “Right now, I feel like what I can do with my legacy is to give back,” Timbaland says. “Which means finding the youth of today. Look at Quincy Jones – he was 50 when he did Thriller! What’s my Thriller? That’s the goal.”

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