Tank Becomes Emotional Reflecting On Aaliyah's Impact On His Life And Career
"When Aaliyah says, 'You're that guy,' that makes all the difference in the world," the singer said.
by Kui Mwai
May 24, 2022 at 2:55 pm
Making it in the music industry is not a simple task, and for many artists, mentorship serves as a pivotal tool in their careers. Tank recently got emotional while discussing how Aaliyah’s encouragement changed his career and his belief in himself.
The R&B legend opened up about his connection to the late singer while appearing on Drink Champs, HotNewHipHop reports. He explained that he was singing background vocals for Ginuwine, and was later introduced to Aaliyah in the recording studio, Revolt reports. The “4 Page Letter” singer was impressed with his vocal ability and invited Tank to do background vocals for her on tour the following week.
“I come down and she’s like, ‘What’s your name?’ Durell. ‘Where you from?’ I’m from such and such. ‘You’re really dope.’ At the time, only my family knew my nickname, I was just Durell at the time. I’m 22,” he recalled during the interview. “She’s asking me questions like I’m the main attraction. This is Aaliyah and she’s got on the outfit bro. It’s the Tommy Hilfiger, the hair is down, the shades are here, the stomach is out. I’m like, ‘This is Aaliyah and she’s concerned about me.'”
Aaliyah called on Tank, again, to provide background vocals for her 2003 hit “Come Over.” While recounting Aaliyah’s support as he spoke about the experience on Drink Champs, the 46-year-old held back tears.
“Aaliyah told me, ‘You’re ready,'” the “I Can’t Make You Love Me” singer said.
“You’re ready for this s**t. And like, nothing vali—”, he stopped mid-sentence, holding back tears.
After a few moments, he composed himself and continued.
“Nothing validates you more than a woman. When Aaliyah says, ‘You’re that guy,’ that makes all the difference in the world,” Tank said.
Tank talked about Aaliyah’s support and recording “Come Over” last May, HotNewHipHop reports. The “Maybe I Deserve” singer discussed how the song came to be while on Elle’s “Song Association” YouTube series.
“The song you hear me on, ‘Come Over,’ I just happened to walk in the studio that day. We were going to check on baby girl, and she was working with Johntá Austin,” he said on the YouTube show. “As soon as I walked in, she said, ‘Tank can do it,’ Johnta said, ‘Tank can do it,’ and I was like, ‘Tank can do what?'”
Aaliyah isn’t the only singer that Tank credits for helping his career. According to Revolt, he also talked about how Jamie Foxx saved him from quitting music.
“At this time I’m kind of homeless,” he said, according to Revolt. “He’s like, ‘This what you’re going to do. You gon’ use my studio and you gone live in my house until you figure it the f**k out.'”
Tank also talked about R. Kelly, asserting that he is the king of R&B, and that other artists in the genre will “always be chasing the ghost of R. Kelly.”
“Let’s not get it twisted, R. Kelly is the king of R&B,” he said. “Let this be a headline, R. Kelly is the king of R&B, whether you like it or not. I’m not condoning anything that he might have done outside of the realm of legalities. … We will always be chasing the ghost of R. Kelly.”
Host N.O.R.E. asked the singer how many artists does he know that still communicate with R. Kelly today, to which Tank replied, “A bunch,” excluding himself from the list.
“I separated myself because he wasn’t a friend of mine, to be honest,” he said. “I wanted him to be a friend of mine because R. Kelly was R. Kelly. He was the top of the food chain so anything beneath me is beneath me.”