Story and Interview by Matthew Shack
((( Audio Interview Below )))
A "solid" is a substance having a definite shape and volume.
Other definitions include, Substantial; hearty: Sound; reliable: Financially sound. Slang includes: Excellent; first-rate.
Tank is "solid"...Physically, musically and spiritally.
The Milwaukee-born, Maryland-bred singer/producer/songwriter has been on the since his 2001 LP debut, Force of Nature.
His third album, Sex, Love and Pain and the smash single, “Please Don’t Go” have both been nominated for 2008 Grammy Awards: Best R&B Male Vocal Performance & Best R&B Album:
He's currently working on projects with Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé among others.
And, don't forget the Oscar winners.
Tank co-produced Jamie Foxx’s 2005 #1 album, Unpredictable, and is putting together the sequel along with completing Jennifer Hudson's forthcoming disc.
Solid also means: Without a break or opening; completely or continuously:
Tank talks with The Flow's own Matthew Shack about everything that matters.
TFM: Personally, [The Flow] feels that you are unrated as a talent and what you’ve done in this industry. How do you feel about it?
Tank: I’m VERY unrated…DAMMIT! [Laughs] Nah…I’m just playing. I think that timing is everything, you know? I’ve never gotten anything easy, my whole life. Everything I’ve ever earned or accomplished, I’ve always had to work for. I think that this is my best album and right now I am doing my best work. So for me to recognized like I’m being recognized now…it only makes sense. So, I’ll take it when God gives it.
TFM: He controls ALL of our destinies, so that good to hear.
Tank: That’s right.
TFM: You’ve recently teamed up with the super group with Ginuwine and Tyrese, so how’s all that going with them?
Tank: It’s slowly but surely coming together. I think that the idea of it is kind of something too big for us to drop the ball on. You know what I mean? So, we’ve had to do some ‘ego-checking’ and really put some things in perspective to make something good happen. It’s not about us individually but it’s about what we can do for music that makes sense. So you’re not going to always get what you want or what you think you’re entitled to based upon your success but for what it could do for music and then what it could then in turn do for our careers individually makes a whole lot more sense to get it done then not. People are bubbling over, the label is excited, and all three of us are excited. We’re just waiting to get onstage, man.
TFM: Let me interject real quick. Give us a little example of how you guys have to check your egos at the door.
Tank: Somebody’s use to being on top. Ginuwine is use to close the show, Tyrese is use to closing the show…I’m use to closing the show. Well, you know…”Every night you ain’t gonna close the show, punk!” You know? Some nights, I’m gonna close the show…some nights “G” gonna close the show…some night Tyrese is gonna close the show. We all are bosses within our own thing. So we kind of got to give weight to each other but at the same time we’ve got to be a group. Things got to be the same straight up and down.
TFM: When are you going to make a foray into films, man?
Tank: I did a big theater run last year. I did a play, so that kind of jumpstarted the whole acting thing, Now, we’ve got some scripts in the office with me playing the lead and we’ve got some budgets approved for some good stuff, man. So, this 2008 is going to be a very good year for Denzel Jr-Jr. Everybody is looking forward to me coming out and showing them the things that I showed Denzel. (Laughs] It’s not a game to me and I really want to conquer that and be a part of that community. And, it’s working out very well.
TFM: Well you’ve got a strategic advantage in regards to that to have Tyrese in the game and your boy Jamie Foxx. If you could just pull those cats coattails you should be straight. Unless you’re just crazy!
Tank: You better believe I’m pulling their coattails…you better believe it! I’ll walk into an audition with a “Jamie is my friend” patch on my sports coat. [Laughing]
TFM: The stuff that you’ve done with Jamie…I’ve heard many years ago, as many as five to seven that you guys were working on songs. I hear a lot of your influence in his last album, in regard to his style and what not. How much credit do you legitimately take on this hit LP?
Tank: I kind of give the credit to him for calling and asking for it. He was a fan of the first album but that didn’t necessarily mean that he had to call on me to help him produce half the album. But he called me like, “Man, I want you to help me finish this whole album,” you know what I mean? Like come in and vocal produce and kind of put me in that zone because I haven’t done this for a while. This is what you do on the regular and I appreciate how you did it.” Give me that same flavor and kind of push me in that direction.” People don’t realize that me and Jamie sound alike. Sometimes, it’s not so much of the influence..we just sound alike on a lot of stuff. Even when I was in high school they we’re like” Oooh, you sound like Jamie Foxx!” I’m like “No, I don’t” We both sit down and play the piano, we both write the same kind of songs...It’s the craziest thing. We both come from the same place so the influence is kind of mutual.
TFM: So it’s like a "brother from another mother", then.
TFM: Tell us about your Grammy nominated single, “Please Don’t Go
Tank: “Please Don’t Go” is still on the charts and #1 for 15 weeks. The song went out last September [‘06]? That song has been on the chart for a year and five months? There’s no such thing. And I’d like to thankASCAP who pays performance royalties on time…they’re very sexy. [Laughs] That’s just in tribute to sticking to your guns. Like Jamie’s always told me, “Trust me, do what YOU do…do REAL R&B music. Do go away from that” He said, “I promise you, it’s gonna work.” And we just stuck to it and here we are.
TFM: First of all, The Flow Family would like to congratulate you on the new edition [baby girl, Zoey Mykhale Babbs] to the family. ( Model/dancer ) Zena Foster is a friend of mine and we want to shout out to you and her. You guys did a good job on that one. Saw the pictures…y’all did a good job on that one, Tank.
Tank: I pride myself on being a successful sperm donor..I definitely have a good gene pool. [Laughing] There’s going to be some talent in that baby. That baby is going to be able to play sports. They are all things that I’ve donated to the cause. I’m just trying to list me attributes. [Laughs] That baby is precious. She’s awesome. I’m really excited about it.
TFM: But let’s talk about all these rumors, man! The cat on the street would like to be you..but does he really want to be you? With his business all out in the street…you can’t do nothing…everybody speculating this that and the other. How does the rumor mill affect you?
Tank: It affects people around me more that it affects me. Because two years ago, nobody cared. Or three years ago for that matter. Nobody cared. Nobody was tripping on “Tank’s Kid” or who he’s out with. Nobody cared. ..NOW they care. And to me, the people that they DO write about are they people that they want to know things about. People that the fans want to hear or want to see. So, I think that it’s cool that I’m coming into a place where they try to dig up anything they can on me to share it with the people. Like., “Ooh, Tank was doing this!” “Tank, threw up ALL his sushi!” I’m excited that I’m in a place where I matter. I know how this Hollywood thing works. When you don’t matter? It’s “Thank you for coming out, God bless you. Good night.” I focus on the music. My private life is my private life but the tabloids and the online press and all that? I just take it for what it is. I’m not mad at it.
((( Audio Interview Below )))