R&B veteran Tank casually catalogs a sweaty night in his new single “Dirty.” This is a skeletal track, barely there at times: A few piano chords, a smattering of drums. The sparse instrumental puts all the focus on Tank’s erotic lyrics. But as the action heats up, the singer’s tone stays cool — except for one jump into falsetto, he could be reading aloud from his grocery list.
Tank has amassed a long string of R&B radio hits since he made his debut as a solo act in 2001. He’s also worked as a writer-producer for other artists, including Keyshia Cole, Letoya Luckett, Jamie Foxx and Omarion.
Generally commercial success decreases as artists age, but Tank has avoided that fate — he’s actually experienced the opposite. “When We,” released in June 2017, became his first-ever platinum-certified single last year.
“You become a 42-year-old R&B singer and everybody says, ‘You’re old, start doing as many shows as you can with Frankie Beverly and call it a wrap,’” Tank said in 2018. “We didn’t want to give up. We wanted to keep changing the perception of where R&B can live.”
With “Dirty,” Tank hopes to reach the same fans who helped “When We” achieve over a million copies sold. The singer co-wrote both tracks with J. Valentine. Both tracks were produced by Cardiak, better known for his hip-hop credits (Drake, J. Cole, Dr. Dre). And both tracks never leave the bedroom.
Tank will release his ninth studio album later this year.