CHRIS BIEN/THE HOYA
CHRIS BIEN/THE HOYA

Tate Tucker is a sophomore in the College who has captured the attention of Georgetown’s campus and the music industry. Although his emerging rap career is not typical of a Georgetown student, Tucker revealed that he is much more down-to-earth than his rap persona would indicate. When talking about his music, his seriousness contrasted with his sense of humor and his laid-back, Southern California personality. With the release of his second album, Virgin Liberation, Tucker discusses the pathway to his music career.

How did you first develop an interest in music?

In terms of music, my parents were both huge musicians. Before I even came into the picture, music was a big part of the family. I picked up the drums when I was like 10 and that’s pretty much where it really started. I got a sense of rhythm and just loved it. I stopped playing when I got to high school and pretty much just free-styled at parties. Junior year, I got a chance to record my first song.

Why did you choose Georgetown rather than going straight into the music business?

To be honest, I didn’t want to be a musician at all. When I got into Georgetown I was like, “Alright, guess it’s time to cut the crap, I’m trying to be the next Obama.” It just kept following me. But you gotta get your degree, in case it ever falls through.

What kind of support have you gotten from people in the Georgetown community?

I’ve gotten to perform in Gaston and do cool events like that … But mostly it’s been … grassroots: just kids sending it to their friends via Facebook. It’s been really cool.

Tell us about your new album.

The title is Virgin Liberation. I wanted it to show my artistic progression and have this be the first time people hear the real music I want to bring to the table — a more serious, professional sound. I just wanted it to be something that people could relate to.

What would you say is your favorite track and why?

“Lazer Tag” is kind of my favorite one only because my favorite one ends up becoming the one everybody else likes because I like hearing it when other people enjoy it. It’s just a really upbeat, crazy, kind of experimental song — there’s not a lot of music out there like that.

What is your process for songwriting?

I do this new thing with the producer where I record my vocals over a metronome and [Jim Chambers] crafts an entire song around it and we co-produce the song. From the lyrics comes the melody. That really is an authentic sound. Usually I hear the beat and write to it, see how it makes me feel.

What message do you want your music to send?

That was another reason this [album] got pushed back so much. I went back and forth and I was like, “Man, this is going to be the most political, crazy, life-changing album you’re ever gonna hear.” Then I was like, that’s just not gonna work. At the end of the day, what I’m working on now is what most upcoming artists do: just telling my story, not putting too much pressure on myself to be this savior of hip-hop. That’s definitely not my goal. I’m slowly starting to take more positions on political issues.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully, I’ve just been killing it, I have like an eight pack, I look younger than I do now. Like I’m 6-foot-3, somehow I get stretched out. Aside from those superficial things, hopefully a couple Grammy awards, signed to a major label and starting to build my own label, and I’ve tapped … into a couple of different business endeavors. And I’m never wearing any kind of suit. Casual sweats everyday, living in Southern California — that’s the goal.

What can you say that really represents who you are and where you’re coming from?

I think that a lot of the time people hear my music before they meet me. A lot of the time I get associated with a super cocky person but that’s definitely not who I am at all. The feistiness is definitely just a projection. I’m a good-hearted person with good intentions and I’m always trying to represent Georgetown with my lyrics and my demeanor.

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