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Tank God on his new single with King Combs, working with PnB Rock, and idolizing Pharrell

A photo of Tank God.
Tank God. (Joe Aboud)

Tank God is one of rap music's most-esteemed young producers.

On top of co-producing Post Malone and 21 Savage's 2017 smash hit "Rockstar," he's also put together tracks for the likes of A$AP Rocky ("Black Tux, White Collar"), Rico Nasty ("Blow Me"), and A Boogie Wit da Hoodie ("Blunt").

But despite his success, Tank isn't content.

"I look up to Pharrell, Timbaland, and Kanye," the 27-year-old told Rising Rap. "They are artists as well as producers."

"I want that," he added.

Tank, who hails from Nigeria, has been releasing his own music sporadically for a number of years, but recently, he's upped the ante.

Last year, he dropped three singles, each with their own distinctive sound. First, there was the Travis Scott-esque "OT." Then came a deep house cut titled "Sticky," before finally, Tank released the vibrant afrobeats number "Eyes Up."

Recently, Tank dropped yet another new single, "Deep End" – a spacey, melodic, rap joint featuring King Combs, the eldest son of rap mogul Diddy.

Here, Tank God discusses with Rising Rap his new track with King Combs, making the switch to becoming an artist, and his desire to be the master of his own destiny.

Let's talk about how King Combs came to be on "Deep End."

I've worked with King before. He was one of the first people that when I showed him my shit, he gassed me up. He just heard my shit and hopped on it right away. And I really appreciate that.

It was the same with PnB Rock, rest in peace, my brother. He was one of the first people to ever show my shit love. He's on my project, too.

Project? Tell us more.

I have two projects coming. One is like a darker vibe, then the other is more eclectic. Then I'm also doing this afrobeats project, so three projects really.

Your work is very versatile, I must say.

I'm just showing people my sounds. I have sounds, I don't have one sound. I'm like a chameleon. I could do anything. You'll notice how I sound comfortable on all of those different genres.

A photo of Tank God with King Combs.
Tank God with King Combs. (Joe Aboud)

Is versatility something you want to be known for moving forward?

Exactly, just as I am as a producer.

Talking of you being a producer, you mentioned that the likes of Pharrell, Timbaland, and Kanye West have served as your inspiration to make the, for want of a better way of saying it, jump from producer to artist?

Yeah, there's a blueprint there and that's what has motivated me. Like Pharrell, he'll write the song and make the beat, but then also sing the hook. That's a whole different world to just producing records.

Producers don't just have to be in the background. You know, we don't have to wait for the artists to drop. Sometimes they never drop and you never get the satisfaction of hearing your shit. It's just so much in someone else's hands.

So in essence, you have decided to make the switch because you want control over your own product?

Exactly. I want to have control of my own work and be an artist.

Hit-Boy recently came out and expressed his frustration at producers not being paid enough, or at all, for their work. He said that he knows artists who are "making millions of dollars" while their producers are begging the label to pay them a "measly, bullshit-ass fee." Does that experience ring true to you?

Yeah, it's just the industry. That's how it goes. Labels take forever to pay. People don't realize how much goes in behind the scenes with the producers and the engineers. But there are people who can change that narrative, like me.

What's been the most difficult thing so far about making the transition from producer to artist?

The biggest challenge has just been making people aware that I'm an artist and not just a producer. It's interesting, because you would think with the success I've had as a producer, it would be easy, but they're like two different worlds. So really, I've had to start again from the bottom.

Lastly, what do you hope to achieve by the end of the year as an artist?

I want to be touring and I want to have a song with over 100,000 daily streams.

So are you saying you want your own "Rockstar"?

If God has that in store for me then I'm here for it. It's a diamond record, it's hard for anyone to beat that. Who wouldn't want a hit like that?


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