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JCU student rises to the R&B scene

April 15th, 2010

Hip-hop group BEDROC may have found itself some competition … literally.

John Carroll Junior Ty Tate, a Cleveland native and Communications major, is a rap and R&B musician making his way onto the scene.

Tate, also known as “The-Snake,” has had a passion for hip-hop since he was an 11 year- old.

But, only recently has he begun recording in a studio, partly thanks to BEDROC’s Mike Brownyard.

“We were at a party and they [BEDROC] were freestyling in front of a group of people,” said Tate.

After a friend persuaded him to jump in the freestyle, Tate’s talent caught the eye of Brownyard.

“And so I started and they actually liked it, and Mike Brownyard said that I should get in front of a microphone.”

Tate soon formed a valued relationship with BEDROC, as he said that “it’s good to have someone looking after you.”

“I really look up to them,” Tate said about his bond with the hip-hop duo. “They pretty much brought me in. Mike is kind of like an older brother to me and he’s taught me a lot.”

Tate’s “up-tempo R&B” style was originally inspired by rapper Soulja Boy, but his love for all genres plays a part in his musical creations.

“I don’t just listen to rap, I listen to all types of music and try to pick new styles and find out new ways to create new music,” he said.

Producing catchy songs that are relatable to all audiences is Tate’s main goal in creating music.

“I don’t want to do the same thing that everybody in today’s music business is doing,” he said.

Utilizing his artistic talents (he creates graphics and animations as well), Tate hopes to introduce a brand new kind of sound and look to the industry. “It’s my type of music, so why not make what I’m comfortable with?”

Writing all of his own lyrics, Tate has found his drive for music usually develops from school and his relationships. Whatever the inspiration may be, Tate has found that being compensated for his performances is just a bonus to the already enjoyable hobby.

“A lot of people say that it isn’t about the money,” said Tate. “But, eventually it will be.  You’re spending money to make music, so why not try to make money making music?”

Although life in the music industry may seem glamorous, Tate has found that it’s not always so alluring.

“One of the challenges I face is tying it in with school and work,” said Tate.

Juggling his job, studies and recording has proved to be a difficult task. He said that “[it’s difficult] finding a time to record and actually write a song when I know I have to write an essay for class.  It’s hard to put one of those things off.”

Time management, however, isn’t the only trouble Tate faces being a student solo-artist.

“One of the major things I’ve come across is scamming,” said Tate, who has received numerous e-mails from MySpace and Facebook fans, asking him to come and perform at their venues. In one case, he dodged a scam that could have cost him nearly $400.

“It’s definitely a challenge deciphering whether someone’s interested in you, or just trying to get your money,” said Tate.

Although his music career is important to him, Tate expressed his enthusiasm for being a student as well.

“Music is kind of like my backbone,” he said. “But, getting a degree from John Carroll would be my main focus.  I would say that I’d like to be a musician, but that’s not my main goal.”

Tate sees himself one day being a producer or directing music videos.

Since he has entered the scene less than a year ago, Tate has been a busy student.

“I performed with BEDROC a couple of times, and I’m performing at Relay for Life, and a Relief for Haiti performance. I also have a couple of shows with Chip the Ripper from Cleveland,” said Tate about his busy schedule.

Looking back, Tate reflects on how far he has come as a solo-artist.

“I feel pretty comfortable with where I’m at,” said Tate, whose MySpace page includes songs that have been played in five countries and 24 states. “In seven months, I’ve come a long way.”