For Atlanta-based singer and rapper Yung Baby Tate, the start of 2020 was filled with optimism fueled by a fast-paced wave of success from the year before. She attended the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in January with a Best Rap Album nomination for her contribution to Revenge of the Dreamers III. She was in a relationship, successfully producing her own music with only a small intimate team, and was convinced that the turn of the new decade would be her year.
“Then Miss ‘Rona said ‘alright sit your ass down! I don’t know what you thought!’” Yung Baby Tate said in an exclusive interview with Euphoria. “I was depressed for a little bit of [quarantine] and wasn’t making music. I ended up having to re-find myself, recenter, and rebirth. Now here we are.”
On Dec. 4, Tate released After the Rain — her first project released in partnership with Issa Rae’s music label, Raedio, which she signed with in April this year. The seven-track project, which features 6LACK and Flo Milli, is the product of heartbreak, self-care, and discovery. Although she teased fans with the EP’s confidently sassy rap single, “Rainbow Cadillac” on Nov. 20, Tate said that After the Rain’s entire sound stays true to her boundless genre profile, featuring different variations of R&B, hardcore rap, and even a taste of Afro-beats.
“All of this is real shit, you know?” Tate said. “I low-key lost my color. I lost my light. I lost my rainbow, and I was sad a bit but after the rain? Chile, that sun will come back out and the rainbow is going to shine through.”
Keeping it real with the world is second nature for the “Wild Girl” singer. On social media, you can often find her interacting with fans, subtweeting exes, twerking on TikTok, and calling things out exactly the way she sees fit. Tate blames her authenticity and “oversharing” in part to being a Taurus and said that she’ll never sit back on her opinions, no matter society’s expectations of how they think a celebrity is supposed to behave.
“It’s really hard for me to come online and just promote my music and leave. I want to talk,” Tate said. “I have emotions. I have opinions, and I’m going to say them. If I’m being fake around you, that means that I don’t like you.”
After the Rain, she tells Euphoria, was inspired by that same type of authenticity and vulnerability that’s made her relatable to fans. When her relationship ended this year, Tate said that she realized she had put the person she loved before her own wellbeing. This taxing process of coming back into herself was poured into her latest project without restraint. On the EP’s seventh song, “Let It Rain,” Tate said that she featured longtime friend 6LACK because she was too distraught to write a second verse and needed help finishing the song.
“It was really emotional for me,” Tate said about the collaboration. “I was crying in the studio and I had to leave, but we were able to come together on this project and make some of the most beautiful moments happen.”
Raw moments like these can remind fans that she’s still human too, despite the vibrant rainbow aesthetic, which she attributes to her colorful upbringing by Grammy-nominated singer and mother Dionne Farris. Tate tells Euphoria that her positivity has its ups and downs. She’s multifaceted beyond the restraints that society oftentimes restricts Black women in music to. She’s more than her appearances on social media.
“I want you to respect my music and the art that I put into this world but at the same time, I want you to remember that I am a human being just like you,” Tate said. “I’m extremely anxious about [release day], but it’s really just about wanting to be better than I was last year. I just want to outdo myself.”
Such pressure and high emotion are, in part, why the 24-year-old said that mental health is a priority for her. Breaking patterns of feeling down is completely on her own terms and she said that different outlets like self-help books and videos have helped her practice wellness.
“We all have the power to change our reality and we really make our day every day,” Tate said. “It really all starts in the mind and that’s way easier said than done but I just try to continue to just be clear and be conscious and present.”
After the Rain is a testament to the mental rollercoasters and inner work of 2020. It’s the first project where Tate has had the support of other producers and writers to collaborate with. It’s seven songs that are completely and uniquely Tate because the multidimensions of who she is refuses to be contained or pigeon-holed. In fact, Tate said to “fuck those barriers because they don’t even exist and people make them up.” In the final days of 2020 and for the upcoming new year, Tate advises fans to allow life to come about in the way that it’s supposed to because it will get better.
“Let it all happen. Let the rain fall,” she said. “We’ve all been going through a storm but just sit through it. Wait it out. Go get you an umbrella, chile, and go get you some rain boots. We’re going to make it through. You’re going to make it through. You’re going to bounce back. Make sure you’re always encouraging yourself; remembering and reminding yourself of who the fuck you are. It’s easy to get lost in social media or in another person or in your thoughts or in your finances, but make sure that at the end of the day, you got you, and then your sun is going to shine through to create that beauty in your life.”