If you caught my review on Monday, you know that this week’s artist hails from Dallas, Texas. I first heard about Tunk via MO fam Thaddeus and their collaboration “TeaBags.” After checking out The Audition I reached out to have a conversation and attempt to learn more. From him I’ve begun diving in deeper to the hiphop that is present in Dallas. While Houston may be the town everyone thinks of when they hear Texas and rap in the same conversation, I’m learning that it might just change. Read up and give Tunk some spins.
Introduce yourself to Seattle!
My name is Tunk. Im an artist coming out of Dallas, TX by way of Midlothian, TX. I’m the youngest of 7 boys. I’m not perfect but I’m in the business of perfection. My relationship with music is a serious one. Feel that music along with money, power, respect and time make the world go round. I always knew in the back of my mind that I would be a rapper. I use to give up so early in the battle with certain things. Somehow I made it to this position and I plan to stick with it. What makes me different is something the listener must decide. I make music from the soul, things I was taught, the shit I have seen, all goes into 3 to 4 min track that helps surpass most of the bullshit in life.
How long have you been rapping? Break down your recording history, work that people can find by you?
Writing since I was 9. Recording since 13 after moving to Midlothian from Fort Worth. Back then it wasn’t as good of quality nor did we (the group I was in) take it that serious. But even then I was killin niggas. My main focus then was football so I made music my #2. I got kicked off the football team as a senior in high school and I wasn’t the same. Can say I lost my way and the only thing I had then was music. Met Brown of Sore Losers and the rest is history.
Did you grow up in Dallas?
Yessir. I have lived all over the DFW region. That is what you hear in my music.
What was your introduction to rap?
MC Hammer made me want to become a rapper. I had “Please Hammer Dont Hurt Em” on video tape and I watched it faithfully for a month straight. Regardless of how goofty that nigga dressed and all the dancing, I was a fan of his music at that time and decided to start writing around that time. Grew up on Outkast, UGK, Freestyle Kings, Trick Daddy, Cash Money and other southern rappers I felt had that go. My Cousins had me on that west coast music at an early age. Tribe Called Quest, DMX man the list goes on. I’ve had my moments with different styles of rap music.
It seems like Houston get’s most of the attention as far as TX rap goes, does Dallas have just as long a history with this music?
Plenty have come but didn’t make it far. Some even made it on television but couldn’t maintain. Branching away from the typical Dallas music we aim for the sky. My team is ready and here to represent.
Do you see yourself following the “country rap tune” tradition?
Nah not at all. I don’t like to put my music in a box. Although it rides and I may make a country rap tune, I’m an artist and I like to experiment with my experiences.
You dropped The Audtion in December, tell us about that project?
The Audition is the fight. The Audition is what I saw and chose not to speak on cause I might of been ashamed or didn’t understand it fully. I knew a lot but I also knew how to get by, and I felt that I was settling. No more!! The Audition is the just a pinch of what I am. I have a long road ahead of me but I’m ready. I can only go up from here.
Who is making the beats on it?
Got production from The Tay, Devonwho, Ra Charm, Abjo, Stupid Diggy and a few others I can’t think of their names at the moment. I’m picky with beats.
How did you connect with the Sore Losers?
Met Brown back in ’08. Was needing a studio to record at and he had a mic and protools. Developed a pretty cool relationship with him and he thought i could rap. Seemed like he believed in me on a more serious lets get to this money like level. Since then I’ve been dedicated to getting better, and making music that people can feel.
Before hearing the Helluvastate album did you have any idea of some hiphop in Seattle?
No sir. Really surprised me. I don’t listen to many. I listen to the shit I can feel. Thadwickster and the other homie showed out on Helluvastate. A couple of joints such as “Skylife Salutations” and “Brain Champagne” made the everyday playlist.
Have you been exploring more music from our town?
I’m currently listening to Jus Moni Still Standing. Her Voice is beautiful. Haven’t had the time to reach out to her yet but I’m following her on twitter and would love to collab.
What music is in your ears today?
I jam a little bit of everything bro. From Minus The Bear to the old Juvenile. Today I jammed a little bit of Ab Soul, Pretty Lights, if it is felt then it is jammed. Music from the soul.
What’s in the works for you now?
Working on my 4th solo project titled Bravo. Working hard but my people need the music so I’m going to drop a mixtape in December titled No Defeat. The Audition was a stepping stone on the path to greatness. I experiment with the knowledge I’ve gained on these beats with no direction. After listening to it you would have learned something and would have enjoyed it. No doubt about it.
What’s a day in the life of Tunk look like?
Its spent observing and understanding. I start on a song late at night, finish it in the morning. A ton of writing and rehearsing. Perfecting.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music making?
Not at the moment. Dedicated to music until further notice.
Last words? Shout outs? Rants? Words of wisdom?
I go by the name of Tunk of The Talented and Gifted Knowitalls (TTGOK). Big shoutout to Will and the Members Only team. Be on the look out for No Defeat. We can on rise from here.