Fighting The Good Fight Or A Losing Battle: @SoulBounce V. @TheRealTank

Yesterday evening while many of you were enjoying Sunday dinner with your family or preseason football on the television, I found myself embroiled in SoulBounce's first (and hopefully last) Twitter beef with an artist. Wipe that blank stare off of your face, you read that right. What started out innocently enough as a simple recap of last week's blogs jumped off into a ridiculous exchange with the singer Tank who didn't take too kindly to his new song and video for "Sex Music" being called out as the percolating pile of poop that it is. Peep the transcript of @SoulBounce v. @TheRealTank after the bounce followed by my thoughts on this nontroversy.

So let's break this down, shall we?

1) Reading is fundamental 
In my original review of "Sex Music" I took it pretty easy on the song and video when I could have gone hard. But being that I am was a fan of Tank I wanted to make it clear that such a wack song was not a proper representation of his artistry. 
Whether or not Tank took the time to read and comprehend the original piece or stopped short after catching feelings from that first tweet is unknown, but once we became engaged in a dialogue I basically repeated what I said and asked for more quality music from him. However, he wasn't trying to hear me because he was too busy counting his money.
2) No one cares that you have money
I love artists who play the "You may not like it, but I'm rich, bitch" card. That has become a chorus increasingly sung by purveyors of some of the worst music to infiltrate our consciousness in recent years. Soulja Boy and T-Pain immediately come to mind. No one will deny that they're rich, but record sales have long stopped being an indication of quality music. 
Speaking of which, with each of Tank's albums selling less and less, he definitely isn't making his money off of his record sales but from his songwriting for other artists. If "Sex Music" is any indication of what is on the remainder of Now or Never, then I suspect that he will continue with that downward sales spiral. 
3) Artists, the last person you want to piss off is a music critic
Although I maintained decorum and kept it classy last night in my responses to Tank, trust and believe that he has all but ceased to exist in my musical world effective immediately. We don't need to write another word about Tank on SoulBounce. We can save our virtual ink to be used at our discretion for artists and topics that matter. 
4) Don't get mad, get better
I understand that you're an artist and that you're sensitive about your shit. But when somebody critiques your work, please don't get mad, get better. It's just that simple. 
The mistake that many artists make is surrounding themselves with yes men who dare not utter a disparaging word about their work lest they get cut from the payroll or kicked out of the entourage. Unfortunately that may keep you employed and in VIP, but it does the artist no good whatsoever. And by the time the music does make it to the public's ears and ripped to shreds by critics, it's too late. But at least you're able to commiserate with the artist about their "haters." 
5) You ain't got to lie, Craig
So Tank's closing statement after that thinly veiled threat of his was that he is "Grammy Award winning!" Au contraire, mon frere. Tank has never won a Grammy Award for any music that he has released. Instead, he is the recipient of a Grammy Certificate that he received for his songwriting work on one song from Jennifer Hudson's Grammy Award-winning debut album. A song that wasn't even released as a single. In the words of Chad Ochocinco, "Child, please!" But just so we're clear, a piece of paper and a shiny, gold trophy are two different things. Got it? Good. 
Well, that's all, folks. Like I said before, this is a total nontroversy but one that needed to be covered nonetheless and put to bed. SoulBounce is in place to expand the conversation of urban music and we do so daily. We write extensively about the good, but we also make it a point to call out the bad and the ugly. 

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51 Responses

  1. Ummm, you forgot this one:
    "@LeToyaLuckett @TheRealTank say BRO! Who we gotta go stump out my nig???? Lol!"
    Made for an interesting evening of twitter watching!

  2. You may have kept it on the high road, but I certainly enjoyed roasting that bamma like the wack piece of meat he showed himself to be. His display behind an unfavorable review of ONE DAMN SONG was deplorable. He acted like Soulbounce had trashed him, his mama AND his grandmama! He was essentially a grown man crying like a preschooler because somebody didn't like his Lego building. GTFOH. I am NO LONGER A FAN.
    Tank had his proverbial ass handed to him last night on Twitter. He needs to check that ego, STOP FRONTIN' and make better music. Ain't nobody here or anywhere else shakin' in their boots behind some R&B faux-thug's Twitter threats. He's gonna "remember" Soulbounce. Pssh! Hell. BOOKMARK IT, BIATCH!
    *drops mic*

    • "But when somebody critiques your work, please don't get mad, get better. It's just that simple."
      But what is "better"? What if an artist is giving their best they can do at that time? I'm sure somebody will like it. Because you dont like it doesn't make it i dont like the song either lol
      Otherwise, I agree with the rest of your points.

  3. As far as the song goes.....its a decent song outside of the chorus....which is wack as hell (plus I don't know why he's using auto-tune when he's such a good singer).......but anyway,
    yea I feel u Butta....he really wasn't actually listening to what you were saying.......all he heard was "Sex Music" is wack. & actually you coulda gone hard too but u didn't, & u actually continued to re-enforce the notion that he's a talented artist who is better than "that". He was just not getting it.

  4. SB writers asking others not to take criticism to heart? Pot meet kettle. Wish some of y'all would practice what you preach. Look no further than the running comments on any recent post about Chris Brown. Every "criticism" of the blog was met with the same kind of responses Tank was giving. It's Michael Jackson countdown month, right? SB needs to take a look at the man in the mirror for real.

  5. Awwwww, bless he wittle heart. The Emmanuel Lewis of R&B tries so hard.

  6. *blank stare* Tank got a record coming out?

  7. hey "I'm just saying", a.k.a. "ummm", a.k.a. "soooo" a.k.a. "Female hustler" a.k.a. "nit-picker" a.k.a. "oh well":
    if you gonna keep changing your name you should change your IP, too. I'M just saying.
    "any recent post about chris brown"? lol you mean all two of them? who took any of that to heart besides you who is still referring to it? you seem to confuse an unwillingness or inability to "take criticism" with being checked on the sarcastic shit you post on here half the time under all your many aliases. girl, bye.

  8. But think about it, you can be tactful without being rude. I understand what SoulBounce was saying, but they didn't have to say like that. ANYBODY would have gotten upset and taken it the wrong way. Then soulbounce tweeted him to get better at writing. I think that was out of line. You can't fade the fact that Tank is one of the best singer/songwriter/producers. Everybody has a bad song. With this song, I think that he was just tryna make something that could get played in the club. Something that sounds current. That doesn't mean he needs to get better at writing.

  9. His career tanked after that whining Keith Sweat-ish song..Tank...Maybe You Deserved to have someone tell u your ish was sub-par..smh

  10. @huny...I don't have to change my IP. For what? I can still get my point across regardless of the handle. Now what I may or may not change is my support of the site. You don't have to be rude to the folks that click the ads here and keep the site metrics up. I know you know a thing or two about that.
    Weren't there at least 40 comments on that one CB post? Maybe I remember that and "still on that" because the average around here is 3, maybe 4?
    I'd also suggest maybe putting SB's URL in YOUR handle? You know, to keep it cohesive whenever a staffer leaves a comment.
    Good luck in the Black Weblog Awards, btw.

  11. DAMMIT!!!!!!!! WHEN THE HELL R YA"LL GONNA POST THE NEXT MJ SONG!!!!!!!!!! its 6:23.......


  13. my criteria for what's memorable is different, obviously. I go off the quality of the post overall, the excellent music linked therein, or some other crazy factor like that. butta going at CB a couple times is barely a blip. you and a few others complained you didn't want to read stuff like that here but you keep unearthing it.
    what kills me is that some heads think they can pop off at the mouth in any kind of way at us, but the second we respond in kind we're wrong. I'm not rude to "folks". I'm not even being rude to you. but you have said some really disproportionately out of pocket stuff to my staff in the past and I'm not feeling it. I'm not gonna derail this thread by listing some of it, but feel free to email me if you want me to go into detail:

  14. Yeah that was quite childish of him to react in such a way becuz like u said everybody is not going to love everything he does. But it seems to have hit a tender spot. the truth be told it does suck monkey ballz, so he can definitely take that to the bank and cash it for however much its worth. Maybe(and hopefully) his fans will support it enough to prove any of the naysayers wrong

  15. I'm with Tank on this one, and I don't listen to his music at ALL. That was a mean-spirited thing to tweet about dude. I swear, y'allz snarky tone on this site is getting worse by the day. Fall back a little.

  16. but you have said some really disproportionately out of pocket stuff to my staff in the past and I'm not feeling it.
    So what kind of game is this? The music critics can say what they want and get out of pocket, and anybody who doesn't like it or disagrees with what the critic says is just supposed to hold their tongue because you're "not feeling it"? I'm just not understanding why the comments have to be so sterilized (yes, I've read the much-purported Commenting Code, and it seems like it can be basically summed up in "agree with the post or die"), but the actual authors' posts are a free-for-all. I know, it's your site and you can do with what you want (I remember the dearly departed novaslim coining that phrase around here), but why drive away the audience if they can't say what they want, or can't say anything at all?

  17. @ "I'm just sayin" ...but you DO say whatever you want and so does everybody else. we have deleted exactly one comment in the entirety of 2010 and even that was after much discussion. this you vs. soulbounce thing you have going on in your head is weird to me.
    @Woop this site has always been snarky. it was founded by snarky ass butta and snarky ass nOva lol. we won't be changing or falling back as long as our base readership digs us. and they do (love yall).

  18. I think he had the right to respond. Just like you had the right to make that post about him. You just didn't like his response, just like he didn't like your post. What was he supposed to say? "oh okay, i'll try harder next time." but since he didn't say that, he was being childish. All he did was respond. I don't think soulbounce was ready for that though. Huny, you aren't being very professional about this whole thing. I see your twitter. Why have any conversation at all with this @tankfacts person? Everything they're saying could be lies. I read their twitter too. The person doesn't know how to spell that mans name, nor does the person know his age. So how much could they really know? Why even acknowledge them?

  19. I don't have to be professional on my PERSONAL twitter account.
    and I didn't say a word to @tankfacts.

  20. Im sorry you didn't say anything, my mistake. But if you think that you don't have to be professional on your twitter account or wherever else, you're wrong. Just like employers check employees facebook's and what not, people do the same here. you want to gain people, not lose people.

  21. come on now, comeonnow. I am pretty widely known for saying exactly what's on my mind. I'm never in life gonna hold my tongue on my personal twitter acct. I wouldn't ask you to either.
    and re: @tankfacts I have no clue if any of that is true. for tank's sake I hope not. that's why I said allegedly.

  22. Yeah she asked for that one! There's a way to get your point across and stand firm on your opinions without being rude, you baited him and he bit back some, but ended up taking the high road. In the end @soulbounce ended up looking bitter. Stick to what you do best, expose us to good music, all this personal critiquing stuff should be left to the professionals!

  23. Perhaps Im missing something. Why wasn't it enough to post the music review here, why did SB need to tweet the man to let him know up close and personal how you feel about his song? Do you all know him?

  24. @ E: what is a personal critique professional? is that somebody who is an expert at critiquing people personally? I'm serious, I have no idea.
    @ anon: he tweeted us about it first.

  25. My only comment as a frequent reader of this blog is if it's about the music, and Tank took your advice and "did better" why not support the music. I could see refusing to support someone like R. Kelly for obvious reasons but all Tank did was respond to the tweet. Isn't that the point of twitter?

  26. Yeah, he was wrong for playing "but I'm rich, bitch" card. Which, btw, is still no where near as childlish and unnecessary as John Legend's twitter rant was. But coming back with a backhanded compliment was only going to keep this twitter beef going. Honestly, the exchange didn't make either of you look good.

  27. But u did tweet him. U put @therealtank in ur twitter response. IOT bring it to his attention. But yall must have he wouldnt reply.

  28. Tank isn't even important. Tell him to check your resume. Get back to what you do best. Real music for real music lovers.

  29. Your recap was definitely better than mines but I said something to similar effect. Just not as in depth. Hilarious.

  30. @sickwitit: I hear what you're saying but I'm 99.9% sure that Tank can do better than employing Auto-Tune since he can actually sing. It's nonsensical for him to use it from that stand point but I suppose it was easier to do that and go for the sound of the moment than raise the bar.
    @ComeOnNow: I can see where one may think that the initial Rewind tweet was rude, but it was actually meant to be sarcastic. Nonetheless, throughout the convo I kept it light and stood by my original point that for someone with his talent it was hard to hear it in that song. And as far as his songwriting skill is concerned, he's aight but he's no Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder or Diane Warren. There is not one classic in his personal or professional discography.
    @I'm just saying: You again. Funny how you only rear your anonymous head when you feel the need to come at us negatively in the comments section of whatever post you object to. How many times have you left a positive comment on a song, video, artist or article that you do like? We'll write something positive 8 out of 10 times, yet it appears that you say something negative 10 out of 10 times.
    @Woop: We specialize in snark. Have for 3 years now. Welcome to SoulBounce.
    @E: Bitter? Hardly. I don't give two shits about that song but as a fan of Tank's I did care that he's putting out crappy music just to get some of that Jamie Foxx mainstream success. Hope that works out for him while he alienates an entire segment of his audience with this hot garbage.
    @anon: I recap the week's posts each weekend on Facebook and Twitter. When I do the Twitter recaps I add the artist's Twitter handle as applicable. It's not necessarily in place for them to respond, although they are free to, but it's more for SB's followers to add the artists as they like. There was no conspiracy in place to bait Tank. Trust me, that really wasn't how I wanted to spend my Sunday night with this nonsense.
    @Jay: Very valid point. I may listen to more music of his, but I'm in no rush. As someone pointed out to me today I probably gave him a pass all these years because I was blinded by the baby oil glistening all over his body. That may very well have been the case because I honestly can't name more than two Tank songs, let alone sing them.
    @0731: I actually missed John Legend's Twitter rant but I heard that it was a train wreck. As far as "Twitter beef's" go, this episode with Tank is a nontroversy like I said.
    @Keyknow: Agreed. This situation needed to be addressed but we're already on to the next one. Let the music play!

  31. This is my first time on this site and I respect what the ladies running this blog are trying to accomplish. That said, just some food for thought....
    artists are extremely sensitive and protective of their work especially true artists such as Tank who are writers and musicians. Their songs are like their children to them. No matter what, no one wants to hear their child is ugly. Tank came across overly sensitive which tells me in his gut he might be questioning the record as well...and with that in mind, who knows if he picked this song to be his 1st single. What if it wasn't his choice but his label picked it? It is his job to go out there and sell/promote the song to his best ability which includes protecting its integrity. In essence, SB told Tank point blank his child was ugly and he instinctively protected his kid. Now, he may in the long run agree with SB but he will never admit it. Songs are like children to these artists.
    One thing I can say about Tank is that his overall work is quality and better than most of these artists out which is why he gets respect. I would bet on a Tank album any day of the week. He may have an okay record here or there but I know for sure when he puts out albums, he gives his fans quality work.

  32. Clearly, Tank and his label are trying to follow the Trey Songz formula: Drop the true artistry schtick, sex up your material, sing/appeal to girls almost two decades younger than you. Trey Songz has admitted in a Billboard interview that's exactly what he did. And the admission is disgusting to read.
    Eat up, Trey and Tank. I hope you are putting some of that money away for five years from now when nobody cares.

  33. the comment by "i'm just saying" @ 5:40 was spot on.
    The Patron Saint Erykah of Badu once said "now keep in mind that i'm an artist and i'm sensitive about my sh_t".

  34. Lupe Fiasco said it best..."Dumb it Down", When you are respected as an artist and people recognize your ability, it does irk them when you "Dumb it Down". This is what Tank did, he decided to "Dumb it Down", now in this climate this is a pretty good business move, but it will come back to bite him in the ass in the long run... My .02

  35. This was crazy on both sides. At any point, one or the both of you could have Direct Messaged each other and kept the tennis match off TV.

  36. Is snark something that you think you specialize in? Oh I beg to differ.
    I think that most of the time, you guys offer critical feedback that is incredibly intelligent and spot-on, and then other times (like now) you just come off as rude and a wee bit abusive. Ah well...

  37. What do you think would have been an appropriate response from Tank? I agree that the song is crap and he could probably do much better but what did you expect him to say? I'm not saying that his response was great but I'm curious to know what you thought would happen after that tweet. He could have ignored it I guess but part of his job is to promote and defend his art if necessary. Even if in his heart of hearts he know that the song is sub-par, he has to make believers out of his listeners. How is his reaction any different from the way SB writers react when criticized? He may have pulled the "I'm rich" card but doesn't your staff pull the "I do what I want on my site" card? Please don't take offense. Just trying to get some understanding on your perspective here.

  38. @muse: criticism from heads like you is cool with me because you comment on the things you do like, too. similar to how butta pointed out in the original article that she likes tank a lot and expected a better song from somebody with his talent. but those special few (there's 2 in particular) who show up in our comments on the constant negative and disproportionately rude are a different story. maybe they should do what we did w/tank's song and talk about how much they don't like SB on their own sites. cause I'm bout sick of dealing with them on the site I sweat it out for.
    thanks, muse.

  39. Tank was very respectful even though you tried to agitate him. God is the only Truth. Your statements are opinions based on your observations not truth. You also twisted his words. He said haters make him "rich", but supporters make him "wealthy." He's right. God was wise enough to cut out the middle man so we can get directly to Him. Pretty soon, there will be no need for journalists, because the world is already connected and supporters will know about the artists first hand . THINK ABOUT IT!

  40. Funny but I never remember Luther or Sam Cook or Teddy P walking around all the time with their shirts off to sell albums, Tank is a joke and probably on the DL. It's a sad state when dude be trying to "out sexy" women, as Riley from the boondocks would say "nigga u gay" 🙂

  41. Are u serious stoneyisland? Idk about u, but i wouldnt want to see luther vandross with no shirt on. If u haven't noticed, times have changed. Women love it when he doesnt have a shirt on, so he uses that. Sex sells. And gay? Where did that come from? Takes one to know one. Nobody else on this post was hating, then there was stoneyisland. SMH.

  42. Wow this Tank situation is making folks hot under the collar.
    It's you know where the next SOMJ post is?
    Jonzing for the next post!!!!!!

  43. Reposting the whole scenario here seems like stirring the pot. I wouldnt have even known about it had it not been highlighted here, as I dont use twitter. Seems like unecessary poking.

  44. [thread]
    TheRealTank: @soulbounce I Love it!! LMAO!!
    soulbounce: @therealtank For the record, we love YOU! Just dont love that song. 🙂
    TheRealTank: @soulbounce Fair enough. Peace.
    If dude were smart and legitimately felt insulted by you, he would have let it go immediately, rather than drive traffic to SoulBounce by engaging in a public exchange. He just exposed 26K people to you who may not have ever heard of you otherwise and gained nothing but maybe some sympathy from his core fan base. It just doesnt seem very smart talking about how rich you are to a bunch of people going through a recession...
    he shoulda listened to Fif -- "if i shoot you, I'm famous -- if you shoot me, you're brainless..."

  45. I THINK that this is yet another case of watered down music vs. quality music. Watered down music of course brings much fame and plenty-o-money but lacks virtually any kind of quality. This seems to be the style of mainstream music now and since Tank seems to be soo focused on money why bother talking to the brick wall. Furthermore, why assume that Tank is surrounded by yes men? Did we forget about corporate pressures? Dave Chapelle anyone, Say NO to the Dress!!! Not everyone is that strong. There could be a variety of reasons that explain why Tank thinks he can/has to sell sex to sell his own records. (Jennifer Hudson is (arguably) not a sex symbol and depends on stronger lyrics). I guess he's just playing it safe.

  46. This site has gotten very, very negative as of late ... I come here less and less. I'd say more, but I'll keep my thoughts to myself.

  47. @muse: I hear what you're saying and you do have a valid point. I do want to point out, though, that whenever people criticize SB it's about what we write not how we write it. In this case I was critiquing how Tank went about creating this song--the Auto-Tune, the silly lyrics, the dumbing it down as someone else spoke on. He's not the first artist who we've taken to the mat about such an issue and he won't be the last because we demand better from people who we know have the talent to do better. He's just the first artist that we had any sort of dialogue--if you can call it that--with and it was in a public forum with the conversation taking a left turn.
    @Tina: I wonder how God feels about Tank singing about "Sex Music." Think about THAT.
    @DarrenCharles: Yup, it coulda gone down just like that. End of story.
    @Kim: That's true, it's not just yes men that surround the artist who are part of the problem but the entire corporate structure of mainstream record companies. Industry Rule #4080 will have many an artist doing something strange for a little change.
    @Um: Say what you have to say, everyone else has. But if you do in fact find yourself frequenting SoulBounce less and less then that's unfortunate. For you. Because you wind up missing out on a lot of good music and commentary. Oh well.

  48. You both sounded like A-holes. Period.

  49. To: Soulbounce Community
    The one thing, I feel people need to understand is that when it comes to something, someone else has created. If they feel strongly about it, at times they will get negative.
    I just had my second book signing, last week in Houston, and I actually had people showing up, giving me lip about the characters in the book. Then when I said the simple statement, of why continue to read my books - they went in on me, but even though I should of adapted the (I'm grown, ignore them way of thinking) This brother went in back, simply cause when it comes to something, I work hard on I defend it.
    I don't see tanks comments as out of line, I see a man, who worked hard on something defending his art.
    I think Erykah Badu spoke it best when she said I'm sensitive about my sh@!.
    Forgive any typos, I am typing this from my phone, while in route to the airport.
    I love you soulbounce, been a fan of your site for years. This is just my point of view, no disrespect was intended my sistas.