The twenty-one-year-old triple threat—rapper, singer, and producer—has it in spades. While my first introduction to her work was a Christmas-themed EP aptly titled ‘XMAS’, it was a 14-second Twitter video from Summer of last year that made me a fan. Now, at nearly 200,000 views, it featured her teasing a standout run of bars from her then-unreleased song ‘Bob’. In it, she twerks and whips no less than twenty inches of blonde hair while rapping about being a five-course meal amongst snacks. Just like that, a star was born.
Well, maybe not so instantly. Viral snippets aside, Yung Baby Tate isn’t new to the music game. She’s been singing since she could talk, and if you take into account her Grammy-winning mother Dionne Farris, you could even say it’s in her blood. Her early work on projects like ‘ROYGBIV’ and ‘XMAS’ highlight her gifted ear for production, incredible vocal range, and ability to spit. It’s her most recent exploits, namely on ‘Cuddy Buddy’, that find Yung Baby Tate solidifying her voice – one that’s humorous, vulnerable, and above all authentic.
Her fans, lovingly dubbed Tater Tots, have had a front row seat to her expansion and growth as an artist. Many await with bated breath whenever she drops something new. Stream the latest single from Yung Baby Tate’s forthcoming EP ‘Boys’, ‘Pretty Girl’ and check out the interview below to find out why.
Ashley: My first introduction to your stuff was the 2016 ‘XMAS’ EP with Nyck.
Yung Baby Tate: Yeah, Nyck Besar.
A: Okay, so how did that come together? Why do a Christmas tape? It’s a little out of the ordinary for a fledgeling artist.
T: I really just love Christmas. Christmas is my favourite holiday next to my birthday. I always have loved Christmas music and always have loved listening to Christmas music. My mom used to get annoyed with me because I would want to listen to Christmas music all year round. We’d turn on some carols and she’s like, “What? It’s July, what are you doing?” Basically, I’ve always loved Christmas music so I wanted to make a Christmas EP. I made the beats then I took them to Nyck and he added his flair and his flavour to the beats. That’s how everything came about. Nyck is dope. It was a cool little tape.
A: I really like it. On that tape, you do a lot of singing. It’s more R&B centred than rap centred and I know you also produced that. Would you consider yourself a rapper, a singer, or a producer first?
T: Honestly, I don’t even know. I just think I’m a song maker. A songwriter.
A: Is that a cop-out? Is one deeper in your heart?
T: I really love doing all three. I will say I like rapping a lot now because I love to perform. So rapping is like super fun to perform rap songs. With singing, that’s more of a deeper more intimate type of show. With rapping, I can have my full energy out there on stage. So I don’t know. I really can’t pick.
A: What’s your sign? I know you have an Aries moon.
T: I’m a Taurus sun, Aries moon, Capricorn rising.
A: I could have guessed the Taurus energy. I just have to have that on the record because I feel like nobody else is going to ask you about your astrology placements.
T: That definitely was a first.
A: After creeping on your curious cat and finding out a few of your favourite artists, I have to pose a torturous scenario. Eliminate the entire discography of one of these artists like the world depends on it: Young Thug, Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott.
T: What? Eliminate one?
A: Like the whole discography disappears but the world is saved.
T: Yo. Yo! Oh my god, that is really tough. That is really, really tough. Wow! This might be the hardest question anyone has asked me. Oh my god. I think I’m gonna have to go – Oh my god! This is so hard. I’m gonna have to go with Young Thug. Oh god, that sounds so wrong coming out of my mouth! I don’t even know what to say.
A: So, why him?
T: Okay, look. Missy [Elliott] is like a creative genius, a pioneer. Without her, I feel like a lot of great music would never have ever happened, and a lot of different ways that are still being followed would never exist. Nicki Minaj is timeless. You can’t erase Nicki Minaj. That would erase every female rapper that exists right now.
A: You think so?
T: Not everyone, but a lot would not exist. You can’t erase Nicki Minaj. Young Thug? I mean, I love Young Thug. His music, his creativity. He’s one of the most creative rappers that there is honestly. But, ugh. It was so hard. I had to go with him. Sorry, Young Thug.
A: I’m glad you chose to eliminate the guy.
T: Yes, girl power! Roar.