BY EMILY ROLES FOTSO ’21
Tate Farris, better known by her stage name Yung Baby Tate, released her debut studio album “GIRLS” this February, a 39-minute homage to womanhood and self-love. Since her beginnings as a producer in 2009, the Atlanta singer and rapper has combined pop, hip-hop and R&B elements to create a fun, unique and catchy sound. Long-awaited after the release of her first EP “ROYGBIV” in 2015, “GIRLS” does not disappoint, combining her youthful sound and rap and production skills to create a promising first work full of potential.
The album is 11 tracks long, each song named after a different kind of “girl.” The first song, “New Girl,” is a five-minute introduction to Tate’s sound. “I’m a whole new girl now/Ever since I got the bankroll, it’s been a whole new world now,” she sings over a laid-back synth beat that transitions to something more dark and intense under an interpolation of Aaliyah’s “More Than A Woman,” putting a feminine twist on the boastful attitude that permeates rap. The theme of female empowerment continues into some of the album’s standouts, including “Pretty Girl Remix” and “Bad Girl.”
“Wild Girl” is a particularly notable track, featuring Tennessee rapper Bbymutha. Tate’s rap skills are especially apparent in this song, as she raps about ignoring men and spending time with girl friends to a self-produced beat: “As if (If) you could even bag/I got some bad b****es with me so I need to brag (Bad, bad).” Bbymutha adds her own no-nonsense flair over the bass-heavy beat: “Boy, don’t play with me/Play with your children, b***h, I’m a grown-up.” The result Graphic by Callie Wohlgemuth ’21 is an anthem for confident girls everywhere — and one of the greatest songs on the album.
Tate reveals her more sensitive side in “Lover Girl,” an R&B hip-hop fusion about the feelings of fear and vulnerability that often characterize falling in love. “My heart’s been broken so many times/If I take another heartbreak, I might just die,” she sings passionately over a slow, sad synth. The next song, “Flower Girl,” is an extension of the concept and is about watching someone you love marry someone else. “Lover Girl” and “Flower Girl” are a poignant departure from an otherwise upbeat album, demonstrating Tate’s flexibility as an artist and songwriter.
“Hot Girl,” the final and most popular track on “GIRLS,” is the perfect closer; featuring Arkansas rapper Kari Feaux, the song is a high-energy self-confidence anthem combining fast-paced rhymes and club beats. What it lacks somewhat in lyrical complexity, it makes up for in production, rhythm and catchiness; it’s clear why it is the most listened to track on the album.
“GIRLS” is a stellar debut. Though Tate may not have quite reached her peak, it’s clear that she’s going places. The album is fun, refreshing and memorable, and speaks to Tate’s talent, ambition and potential. Keep your eye on Yung Baby Tate — she’s just getting started.