Between releasing her first full-length album, wrapping her debut tour and earning a #1 album on the Billboard 200, 2019 has been a year of many firsts for rising hip-hop artist Yung Baby Tate – and it’s only getting started.
YBT’s passionate fan base – which includes such notable members as Megan Thee Stallion, Kehlani and Tierra Whack, among others – has been on the upward trajectory with the help of her stellar new album, ‘GIRLS’ released earlier this year. The rapper-singer made waves once again this past week after recording and sharing her unique #MegatronChallenge to much enthusiasm online.
Rapper @YungBabyTate is turning heads in her excellent #MegatronChallenge submission to @NickiMinaj. ? pic.twitter.com/gLCUdC0i5Y
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 8, 2019
YBT is now in the running to win Nicki Minaj’s #MegatronChallenge running through July 27th, which calls for all rappers and dancers to display their talent over the “Megatron” instrumentals for a chance to join Minaj’s label and earn $10,000. Minaj recently liked and shared YBT’s submission on Instagram, going so far as to ask her fans if the rising talent should be featured on the official remix.
We caught up with the Georgia-native to talk more about this exciting development, her work on Dreamville’s ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III’ and her plans for rest of 2019.
Tell us a little bit about your background and where you’re from. When did you start creating music on your own and decide to pursue it as a career?
I’m from Decatur, GA which is about 15 minutes from Atlanta. I grew up very involved in music. I went to performing arts schools from 3rd to 12th grade which is where I got a lot of the training that helps me to be the artist I am today. I learned how to play piano in 3rd grade and that really sparked my interest in making my own music. By the time I turned 13 I started recording, producing, and writing my own music and have been doing so ever since. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in music but I really took that leap when I dropped my first EP, ‘ROYGBIV,’ in 2015.
Along with embarking on your first tour and releasing your debut album, ‘GIRLS,’ you also just scored your first #1 album with Dreamville’s ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III.’ How does it feel to go #1, and do you have any other projects with Dreamville lined up?
I didn’t expect anything less of a Dreamville album. I guess for me, I’m just extremely grateful that I was even invited to the ROTD3 sessions so, to be a part of the album is really crazy. I was invited as a songwriter (I co-wrote “Got Me”) but I somehow finessed my way onto “Don’t Hit Me Right Now” as a feature. It just makes me feel good about all the work I’m putting in.
I recently worked a bit with Earth Gang on their upcoming album, ‘Mirrorland,’ which I hear is about to be AOTY so I’m excited about that.
Your Megatron Challenge submission to Nicki Minaj went over really well on social media. Tell us about the process of creating that song and why you decided to submit.
Creating it was really fun. I knew I wanted to do one as soon as she posted that there was a challenge, before the top prize was getting signed to her label. I love Nicki Minaj and I love “Megatron,” it’s such a fun song, so I thought I’d tried my hand at it. I didn’t want to just rap, though. I knew I wanted to give it a creative spin and sing too. So I just recorded it at home. When I was finished, I performed it on my Instagram live. There were so many people watching, it was crazy.
If Nicki was reading this interview, what would you like to tell her regarding the Megatron Challenge?
Well, while I was typing the answers to these questions Nicki actually posted me on her Instagram and asked her fans if I should be on the official remix. I freaked out! So I want to say to Nicki that it would be an absolute honor to be on any song with her. I’m so grateful for every door she’s opened specifically for artists like me to be taken seriously. I write and produce all my music and avoid being boxed into a genre. If it weren’t for her, I think it would be pretty hard as a black female rapper to have that freedom. So, if Nicki Minaj sees this I just want to say thank you.
It’s rare to see an artist like yourself who produces, performs and writes all of their own music. How important is it that you maintain this creative control over your music and brand?
Maintaining my creative control is so important to me. It’s like taking my own breaths. I don’t want someone else to breathe for me or think for me or write for me. I want everything that people hear from me to be a representation of ME. I’ve learned from the Dreamville ROTD3 sessions that I work really well in collaborative efforts so I’m looking forward to doing more of that in the future as far as production goes.
Your discography has some Top 40-friendly tracks that would definitely resonate with our followers. For those just now learning about you, which tracks would you encourage them to listen to?
“That Girl”, “Rich Girl”, or “Mean Girl” featuring Queen Key and Asian Doll. Honestly, I don’t like to pick and choose so I’d probably encourage them to listen to the whole ‘Girls’ Deluxe album.
You have a lot of great collaborations with other female artists – who are some acts that you think Pop Crave should be paying attention to?
Thank you. I think more girls should be working together! Everyone on my album is extremely talented and deserves all the recognition. Bbymutha, Baby Rose, Kari Faux, Mulatto, Killumantii, Queen Key, Asian Doll, and UNIIQUE. Keep your eye on them!
We’ve seen some online interactions between you and Kehlani, Tierra Whack and Megan Thee Stallion, among others – do you have any fun collaborations on the horizon?
I like to keep my collaborations under wraps until they come out to keep the mystery alive. I’m just meeting a lot of very dope women whose music and art I admire. It feels good to be able to interact with them online and in real life and create real relationships.
Do you have any big plans for the rest of 2019? What’s your next move?
I’m just continuing to work and grow. I’ll be coming out with new music, new videos, new everything. I’m on that new new.
Stream YBT’s debut album, ‘GIRLS’ in its deluxe edition below: