Tate Tucker (SFS ’14) might be a college freshman, but he is no neophyte when it comes to hip-hop.
Last semester, Tucker raised more than a few eyebrows when he was invited to perform for — and garnered a seal of approval from — Grammy-nominated artist Lupe Fiasco, who was presenting in professor Michael Eric Dyson’s Sociology of Hip-Hop class.
“It was an insane experience,” Tucker said of his encounter with Lupe. “Something I never expected to happen.”
Lupe was not the only one who was impressed by Tucker’s talent. A video of the in-class rap went viral and word of the freshman’s flair spread throughout the online music community. With 130,000 views on WorldStarHipHop.com (which was shut down yesterday), Tucker became a minor sensation, and The Source, a well-known hip-hop magazine, quickly posted an interview with Tucker on its website. Several music blogs, including “Dirty Mexican Lemonade” and “Camelback Music”, have begun featuring Tucker’s songs on a regular basis.
But Tucker’s relationship with hip-hop goes back much further; it began when he was a high school freshman, casually honing his freestyle rap skills with friends.
“I wasn’t taking it too seriously at first,” Tucker said. “Around junior year was the first time I really started getting serious.”
After encouragement from his friends, Tucker recorded what is now probably his most popular song, “LA Daze,” as a 16-year-old.
Despite his schoolyard fame, Tucker decided that as his high school career wrapped up, he would hang up his microphone as well. He even declined an invitation to perform at his high school’s graduation.
“I just wanted my rap career to be done. I wanted to be known as the kid going to Georgetown,” Tucker said.
Old habits die hard, though, and Tucker quickly found himself back in the rap game at parties again. Soon enough, he was recording again, too.
“I guess at school it kind of resurfaced and now it’s getting pretty serious,” he said.
Suddenly a hot commodity, Tucker has big plans in the works for the next few months, including performances at both Georgetown and Dartmouth. He also has a mixed tape produced by fellow Georgetown freshman Will Henderson that he hopes to release in April. Tucker said he is hoping the mixed tape will have a concrete, professional sound and help him further his connections in the music industry.
Though he remains optimistic about his rapping career, Tucker says that he is glad to have a Georgetown education under his belt if rapping does not work out.
“Hopefully [my job will] be somewhere in the realm of entrepreneurship,” Tucker said. “Running an entity that’s doing something good for people.”