R&B Royalty: Tank Woos Chicago Fans, Talks Career, Misconceptions and TGT

VIBE Vixen heads to Tank's Chicago show to find out what he's been up to.

Women flocked from all corners of the Windy City to witness R&B crooner Tank perform fan favorite hits over the weekend (Mar. 13). Melting the hearts of loyal fans, Tank - born Durrell Babbs - wooed a sea of shrieking women at The Shrine nightclub as he performed with his heart on his sleeve. R&B, a genre best served hot, was the night's special, and the Milwaukee native quenched the thirst of dozens. Cameras flashed atop fan's swaying arms as their bodies surrendered to every seductive note.

"Sex Music," the sexy ode to baby making, vexed the audience into a musical daze, catapulting them into a sultry playground of sensuous, timeless music. Answering his every beck and call while grooving in a sold-out crowd to Tank's orgasmic beats, fans rocked attentively, belting every lyric like a sing-a-long. The effortless runs during his 2001 breakout hit "Maybe I Deserve" accompanied only by gentle taps on a keyboard, blanketed the nightclub like clouds on a foggy night, satisfying yearning ears.

After the welcoming performance, a mix of Tank's hits followed, taking fans on an musical roller coaster, emotions in tow, from his signature R&B tunes to the club banger, "Shots Fired" featuring Chris Brown. Between the snippets of alluring bedroom tracks, like "Slowly" off his 2001 Force of Nature album, the 39-year-old playfully interacted with his devotees, even inviting a blushing fan on stage to hold his "mic" after dishing out Andrew Jacksons to ladies for their hair and nail expenses.

Ending in "Please Don't Go," the 2007 single that spent six weeks atop Billboard's Adult R&B chart, included the TGT vocalist taking off his shirt which, arguably to fans, was the highlight of the night. The visual teased hearts and tickled eye gates in a crowd full of screaming women yearning for a touch.

Vixen caught up with the "Stronger" singer and he shared how he got his stage name, his Instagram rant on the state of music and what the world doesn't know about him.


On stage you had the ladies screaming and laughing, have you always been this funny?
Well, yeah actually, it all started when I was little. I got on the school bus for a field trip and there was this girl I liked in the fourth grade. I got on the bus and I was trying to sit close to her and one of her homegirls said, "Oooh, there go Durrell, don't you like him?" And she was like, "I don't like that square head boy!" So at that moment I figured the looks aren't going to do it so maybe if I'm funny, I can make the girls laugh and that can be my way into another cool conversation. That became my "game" trying to make it comfortable, easy to have a conversation and it kind of works.

How did you get your name?
I had a big head and a big stomach when I was a baby. I used to run around the house making a bunch of noise. My grandmother said, "Tell that tank head boy to sit down somewhere." And she shortened it to Tank and there it was, it just stuck. At first I didn't like the nickname, when my cousins would call me it I would beat them up.

What's going on with TGT?
Everybody is moving and doing their own thing. Tyrese has a new album. Ginuwine is still touring the earth. I'm working on a few projects; my rap artist Siya and my R&B group 12Til and my new album as well. We'll come back at the end of the year or top of 2016 with a new TGT album. Deal is done, papers signed, so we'll do it again.

You ranted on Instagram last year because you felt you didn't get much support. Have you changed your mind about quitting music?
It wasn't necessarily an idea of quitting music, it was an idea of getting everyone to understand the state of music period. Because there's so many closed door conversations, people have so many small round tables and everybody scared to speak up. There is an injustice in the music business, whether we want to accept it or not, even in business and even the world period as it pertains to race and culture. So when the first person addresses it, he's always going to look like the bad guy, who doesn't know what he's talking about. If I'm the scapegoat or have to be the bad guy for people to help initiate change that's fine, I'll be that.

What I did decide was I don't know how to do anything but good music. I would love to just sing about my money or cars and call women b*tches, but it just doesn't work for my gene pool or the way I was created. From my grandmother who's a pastor to my mother who's in the choir and head of many organizations at the church- I'm stuck doing it the way I know.

I was mad. I wasn't just mad for me but for all the R&B producers, singers, and songwriters who put their heart and soul in their music and don't get their just due. If we're going to give bullsh*t a shot, let's give the real sh*t a shot and see what happens and see who wins. But don't handicap us. Don't make our budget smaller. If love loses, then we'll take that. But I think love will win.

What's the biggest misconception about you?
I heard a couple things. I heard I'm too serious. I heard I'm too mean. People think I'm mean when they see me- they think I'm unapproachable because all the pictures are with the straight face, but I'm so far from that. Those are moments and pictures. I'm really a big kid who just likes to have fun. I'm the host who pours all the drinks. We're doing a couple things to try to change the perception.

What's something about you that can't be Goggled?
I'll tell you what can't be googled! What ain't Googleable is I average 7.8 yards a carry in high school. I set the record for longest touchdown from the line of scrimmage, 93 yards, I did that. What's not Googleable is that my first dunk was in a game in eighth grade. What they won't tell you is I won the dance contest at my eighth grade prom! Chris brown who? Ginuwine who? It was me first, okay?

I'm lactose intolerant. Don't bring milk or ice cream around me. I'm still going to eat it, but it's going to be a problem later. I also have really good hair. I cut it short to make you think I got waves on the top, but the sides- I don't know what happened, there was an accident somewhere and I got a tough grade on the sides, but on top, I got that Indian.

Mayweather or Pacquiao?
It's not even going to be close. Mayweather, Money Team.

Photo credit: Instagram(@Quayvo_shots)

From the Web

More on Vibe

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Black Music Honors

Keke Wyatt Announces That She's Pregnant With Her Tenth Child

Keke Wyatt has news to share that concerns expanding her family tree. On Monday (Oct. 14), the "If Only You Knew" singer revealed that she's pregnant with her tenth child.

"My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy!" she wrote on Instagram. "We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family."

The vocalist continued to state that fans can follow her pregnancy journey on her YouTube series The Keke Show where she gives an intimate look at how she balances her career and motherhood.


View this post on Instagram


My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy! We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family. Stay tuned for the release date & information for my new YouTube Series “The Keke Show” where you will see me balancing Wife, Mommy and Artist!!! Trust me.. it’s never a dull moment with my family. Love ya sugars💋💋💋 photo credit: @keever_west Styled/Designed by: @keever_west Asst: @freddyoart

A post shared by Keke Wyatt (@keke_wyatt) on Oct 14, 2019 at 4:43pm PDT

In an interview with The Christian Post, Wyatt said she believes she has "an anointing with motherhood" and looks at her children as fuel to keep striving in her career.

"I just don't believe in shutting down. I believe in that's what the Lord had for me," she said. "Babies don't get in the way of careers, we get in the way of careers. If that's what the Lord had for me from the very beginning, there's nothing nobody can do and nobody can say."

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Summer Walker's Debut Album Inspires Drake To Write New Music

Summer Walker's debut album Over It has everyone's heart aflutter, including Drake.

Off the heels of her debut project, the Atlanta songstress shared Drake's admiration for her project Sunday (Oct. 6) which included collaborations from Jhene Aiko, Usher. 6LACK and Bryson Tiller. Drake had a strong reaction to "Fun Girl," a track that speaks to the acoustic aura of her precious project, CLEAR.

Sharing his love with more than a few emojis, the rapper reveals the song inspired him to pen two new songs at the crack of dawn.


View this post on Instagram


So I guess fun girl is his favorite song on the album, mines isss... BODY🥰 what’s yours ?

A post shared by Summer Walker (@summerwalker) on Oct 6, 2019 at 3:02pm PDT

Summer and Drake worked together for the remix to her breakout hit, "Girls Need Love." In Billboard's  “You Should Know” series, the singer says the two met via Instagram after he gushed about her visuals to the original track. "He said, 'I saw your video on a bowling alley monitor. Thought it was cool,'" she recalled. She added it was Love Renaissance's Justice Baiden who talked her into asking Drake for the remix. The singer is signed to the label along with Grammy-nominated singer 6LACK.

Things have been looking great for the singer. Her album has topped Spotify and YouTube since it's release Friday and is expected to make a nice debut on Billboard's 200 charts.

Get to know the men behind Love Renaissance in our feature, LVRN's Reebok Collaboration Showcases Atlanta's Influence In Fashion.


Continue Reading
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Tinashe Resurfaces With Exciting Message: "I'm Back And Better"

Tinashe fans rejoice! After a hiatus, the Joyride artist resurfaced on Instagram Saturday (Sept. 28), in a brief video expressing that she's “back and better.”

After a tumultuous relationship with her label RCA, the singer-songwriter broke ties with the company. Since then, she's been hibernating in her “cave,” as she puts it.

"Creatively, I just feel like I needed to go through what I went through in order to be the person that I am today and to get back to my roots," she explained. "You pretty much put your heart and soul and emotions into all these songs and then you put them out there for the world to judge and tear down and pick apart. It's terrifying and it can really mess with your head."


View this post on Instagram



A post shared by Nashe if you’re nasty (@tinashenow) on Sep 28, 2019 at 11:04am PDT

In an interview with VIBE, Tinashe expressed how important it is for her to stay true to herself and artistry. “It’s not even necessarily speaking up but coming to your own conclusions yourself and owning your own instincts and trusting in yourself and creative power,” she said. “I think that’s something that is always important to continue to maintain. It’s easy for that sometimes to get derailed, and it’s important to come back to that.”

During her recent statement, she broke down the importance of art and how it should be expressed through individuality and free expression, sans any boxes or limitations. Making people happy through her music is the goal.

"Music and art are supposed to be these wonderful beautiful things that bring people joy and happiness, and that's really why I started making music in the first place—to give people something that means something to them,” she said.

Although Tinashe did not say when fans can expect new music, she did share a snippet of what she’s been working on in the studio in a separate post. “I’m too emotional.”


View this post on Instagram


I’m too emotional

A post shared by Nashe if you’re nasty (@tinashenow) on Sep 30, 2019 at 12:57pm PDT

Continue Reading

Top Stories