Yung Baby Tate: 'GIRLS'

Photo credit: Yung Baby Tate
THAT GIRL: Yung Baby Tate’s passion shines on GIRLS.

Near the 10-minute mark of her new self-produced album GIRLS, Yung Baby Tate channels her inner Chaka Khan, incorporating lyrics from “I’m Every Woman” in “That Girl.” The Decatur artist develops the message of Khan's trademark anthem into an album that explores and celebrates the female experience from multiple points of view. On each track, Tate, born Tate Farris, embodies a different persona, an admittedly creative approach. However, concept albums like GIRLS can feel forced when strict adherence to the theme overpowers artistic merit. Tate flirts with those pitfalls on cuts like “Cozy Girl,” where lyrics such as “Cozy girl for life/Cozy girl, CG4L/Cozy girl, I’m raw as hell,” fall flat in an album packed with compelling performances. What makes GIRLS work is Tate’s authenticity on each song; she develops the album’s 11 distinct girls into a virtual self-portrait. In the outro of “Play Girl,” Tate’s screaming of, “I’m not no motherfuckin’ PlayStation/I’m a human being with real emotions and a good heart,” sounds too heartfelt to be an act and segues perfectly into the beautiful Baby Rose-assisted “Lover Girl” and “Flower Girl.” The vulnerability in that three-piece combo conveys an emotional depth that nicely contrasts with the saucy bravado that dominates the album, especially on songs such as “That Girl” and “Bad Girl.” With GIRLS, Yung Baby Tate transforms a limiting concept into a passionate reminder that women are multifaceted, and so is female rap.
★★★☆☆ — Joshua Robinson

Yung Baby Tate, Leikeli47. $18-$22. 7 p.m. Thurs., April 4. The Loft, 1374 West Peachtree St. N.W. 404-885-1365. www.centerstage-atlanta.com.

★★★★★ This album will change your life | ★★★★☆ A truly great album | ★★★☆☆ A solid effort, worth a listen | ★★☆☆☆ No thanks | ★☆☆☆☆ Don't bother