Tank has done it again!
The singer-songwriter returns with new single "When We," a track from his upcoming album.
ESSENCE spoke to the singer about the sexy new song, what to expect from his highly-anticipated eighth album, and Tank dishes on the backlash he received for performing DC's Black LGBT Pride event.
''When We'' feels like a sexy return to pure R&B, a soundtrack to a romantic evening that ends in the bedroom. Talking to ESSENCE, Tank says the song is meant to fill that gap.
"It's kinda what we're, you know, what we're missing," he says, "You know, being sexy I think has taken a backseat to, I guess, shock value in a sense."
"They don't wanna be considered art anymore, they just want to be considered shock value and they just want the likes to go up immediately and that's it. But, I think that there are still a lot of people out there that still believe in the basic art of being sexy. Being sensual. It doesn't feel intrusive or overbearing."
A song like "When We," which details a very passionate night, is sure to have an equally intense video, but Tank doesn't want to go the usual route.
"We have so many concepts and ideas and the things that we don't want to be is literal. We wanna be ultimately creative. We're still bouncing ideas off of each other and listening to ideas from even outside people just to make sure that it's a moment. It's got to be right."
With his new single released, we had to find out what to expect from his upcoming untitled album, which Tank says "we're about 98 percent finished with."
"My album is not feature heavy. Right now I have Candice Boyd on my album, who's Ne-Yo's artist. She's one of the coldest young singers out right now. She is fire and I have a song with her."
"I got Trey Songz on there. We've been trying to get something again since the 'Celebration' remix, so we finally got a moment. Working on one more person, I don't wanna say it until it happens."
He adds, "I brought a guy back that everybody's kinda been looking for. They been trying to figure out is he gonna get back in the game. Is he gon' stay on the outskirts of the game. There's a guy by the name of J. Valentine, everybody's been trying to figure out what he's gon do, so I put him on a record on my album and we're getting ready to see. We're getting ready to see about inserting him completely back into the game."
We're eager to see what Tank and J. Valentine get up to and, hopefully, it marks the latter's return to music.
However, Valentine isn't the only artist Tank is championing. Surprisingly, the R&B crooner has come to the defense of rapper's like Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert, taking to Instagram to call out haters.
"These kids have had to do on their own try and figure it out," he says, "You didn't offer them any tutelage. You didn't offer them any guidance and all of a sudden you have everything to say about what they're trying to do."
"Hip-hop wasn't anything but people who didn't have a voice being able to express themselves. That's what hip-hop was. And, so when you see a Lil Yachty or Lil Uzi and you have thousands and thousands of kids who —I think Lil Yachty got like a billion streams or something like that— when you see that, you have to understand that they are people who are connected. Who are understanding where these kids are coming from, who are relating to them. So you know I just don't want us to lose sight of that as we try to tear down people creatively, that there's a bigger a thing happening here."
Tank has also spoken out about the backlash he faced for performing at DC's Black Pride Event.
"What these people were saying about me, I didn't care," he says. "People are gonna say what they wanna say about you anyway. So, I really didn't care about that. What I thought was interesting was that, with all this backlash I started seeing people from the gay and lesbian community like really have my back, in a way that people hadn't come to my defense before ever."
"It prompted the people who really didn't have a problem with it either way to come to my defense as well. The LGBT community is part of our community. They're part of our culture. They're part of us. We are all together."