Baltimore rapper Tate Kobang is ready to put his city on the map! Kobang, whose real name is Joshua Goods, is currently on the 13-city Young Hustle Tour presented by super entertainment company, 300. While on the New York stop of the tour at SOBs, Kobang sat down with BlameEbro to talk about his viral song “Bankroll”, signing to 300, working with Swizz Beatz and more!
Read the exclusive interview below.
Tell me about your musical background. I read you had a background in the church choir, played the saxophone, and you know how to compose music. So tell me a little bit about that.
I learned to play saxophone back in elementary school. I was always in the church, Granny had me on the choir. That’s why I’m so good with melodies. My uncles were rapping and kept me in the studio with them and that’s how I found that love and just started going at it.
Do you play any instruments?
Me, I’m the instrument. When I’m going in, sometimes you might hear some yelling in the background, some crazy noises. That’s me.
Do you do production as well?
Yea, I went to school for it.
I read about your mother’s and father’s passing. My condolences for that. How has that influenced your music?
They’re the reason I go so hard. My mother had faith in me. When I lost my mother and father that’s when I knew life was too short, you could go and never know when. So I had to push it. I had to push myself.
So you know Baltimore was the middle of a big controversy with the Freddie Gray situation, were you involved with any of the protesting?
Yea we were out there, in [ “Bankrolls”] I say, ‘I got a bitch that live on Appleton, she love them killers’. All of the protesting happened right on North Avenue, which is right off of Appleton [St].
Was it as crazy as they made it seem on TV?
Yea Baltimore is everything that they tell you it is. Everything from The Wire to the gang violence, to the drugs. Also the arts too. It’s getting that everyone is switching from the streets to the arts, so that’s good.
Do you believe that as an artist and a leader in the community that you have a responsibility to talk about what’s going in the community?
No, because it’s going to seem fake. I wasn’t worried about it before it hit home and I’m not going to jump up and be an activist now when it hit home. I’m not a hypocrite and we shouldn’t wait for things to hit home to raise our awareness about it.
With Bankroll, it’s a really fun record, you seem like a really fun guy. So is that the lane you want to stay in? Just fun club type of records?
No, I hate that song. I was never going to put that [record] out. It’s all freestyle, I had that joint for like a year before I [released it].
But that’s the viral one.
Yea right, it’s crazy. It’s never the records that you [think]. I got a bunch of good message, good strong records and they always go for the [party records]. But whatever the people want. I am going to give them like one or two more. I’ve been working with Swizz [Beatz] a lot and he says I should just milk it.
So you’re working with Swizz Beatz?
Oh yea. It’s been crazy. A lot of sh*t been happening. God [has been] been working.
So we can look forward to that next project. What’s that going to sound like?
Yea the joint I played earlier was a sneak preview of the new single. And the follow up single is going to be the Swizz Beatz record.
When can we expect a full project?
How did you get the attention of Kevin Liles and Lyor Cohen to get on 300?
Well, Kev is from Baltimore, so it’s only right. The thing I like about 300, some people want to wait until you’re “there” to f***k with you.  said we want to get you while you’re on your way up, so we can give you that boost.
So they didn’t sign you after your song was a hit?
No, they saw it was on it’s way and they was like, ‘we’re going to take this and make it bigger before it gets big.’ After that, it’s just been history. I love them. They’re family. They don’t send no interns, these are actual execs that were hitting me. Lyor Cohen will text me and be like, ‘Man wassup with you?’. I love it, it’s a family, it’s not just business with them.
So what’s next for Tate Kobang?
Well we’re on the Young Hustle Tour, finishing [that] up. I go to L.A. to do Wild’N’Out when I get off tour. I just shot a playstation commercial, that airs in a little bit. And yea we’re just going hard.
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