As R&B royalty, it was only right that Tank attended this year’s first-ever REVOLT WORLD to discuss the state of the genre.
The million-dollar question these days is whether or not R&B is dead, but Tank explained why some people may have that belief. “I think that when they speak to that, they’re talking about a certain thing that they wish was prevalent in today’s R&B, or even in the mainstream for that matter, and that’s just the emotional side of male R&B music, which is kind of lacking in the mainstream,” he told REVOLT backstage.
Tank continued: “But, I mean, we don’t create the playlists… Programming directors, whether that be streaming or radio, the presence of male R&B, the emotional side of it is needed. And, we’re here. We’re doing it. We just need some space. If you would carve out some space in between your rap and your trap and even your pop to give us some space to be emotional and vulnerable, then you would see a difference in the conversation.”
As an OG in the game, Tank doesn’t take his role in the music industry lightly.
“Encouragement is just important for bridging the gap,” the “Maybe I Deserve” crooner said. “When I was young and I was doing my thing, I was hoping that one of the OGs would see it and be like, ‘Yeah, I see you young fella, you’re on the right track.’ For me, that was a guy by the name of Gerald Levert, God rest his soul. That was a guy by the name of Babyface. I got those calls and I want to always do that. I always want to be that person for others. So that I’m easy to come to. Do you need anything from me? Do you need any information from me? Do you need any protection from anything? I’m available. I’m here. I’m not above you, I just came before you, know what I mean?”
What’s more, when he isn’t making music of his own or speaking to some of the biggest names in the genre — past and present — on his “R&B Money” podcast, Tank is just happy to be a collaborator among his peers.
Most recently, he had a hand in Diddy’s The Love Album: Off The Grid. “I have great respect and admiration for that brother, man,” Tank said. “I was able to be a part of the process of making that album and to just be able to be in those rooms and again, encouraging them, listening, and just continuing to be that batter and building this out and even telling Diddy, ‘You’re fire. Keep doing that. You don’t need my help.’”
Tank continued: “For me, R&B is the mission, and the fact that this album is doing that R&B thing and we’re here at REVOLT WORLD? The timing couldn’t be any better.”
At the end of the day, working on the album and being an authority on the state of R&B during this year’s REVOLT WORLD served as a reminder for Tank. He’s not new to this, he’s true to this.
“To be here now, to just continue to give that information, to answer those tough questions, give that tough love… you’re not always gonna like what I have to say, but it’s gonna be real and it’s gonna be from the heart. Never tear down without building. If I have a critique for you, I also have a way up.”