Rapper Timbaland revealed that he was so addicted to painkillers several years ago that he almost died.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Timbaland spoke about a time in his life just three years ago. "I was on drugs, dude. I was on OxyContin," he said.
Timbaland, 45, told the mag that he starting taking pain pills in his 30s to cope with pain from a gunshot wound he suffered as a teen. It got to the point where he would just sleep all day.
At the time, his marriage had ended and he wasn't getting the work that he once did. With a reduction in work came an increase in pills.
"It was so bad, to the point where I couldn't even sleep," his girlfriend, Michelle, said. "I'd put my hand right by his nose, just to see if he was still breathing."
His friends recognized he had a problem, too. Jay-Z, he said, told him to stop doing media interviews because his comments were doing more damage than good.
Then, in the middle of all this, he had a "near-death overdose."
"All I can tell you is that there was a light," Timbaland 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 would be if I did."
The very next day was when he knew it was time to make a change and begin weening himself off of pills. He suffered withdrawals, but he kept thinking about alternative.
"I thought about Michael Jackson," he said. "I didn't want to be old and taking these pills."