“I wanted to make sure that it was undeniable. When you hear this music, you can’t deny I’m hard.”
TiaCorine, the immersive North Carolina-born artist’s road to stardom, has allowed her to reach a goal most independent artists dream of. After crashing on the scene with her 2018 hit “Lotto” (16m+), Tia has proven her ability to push the boundaries of contemporary rap with her versatile flow, commanding cadence, and vibrant personality. Her unique artistry and storytelling have allowed her to carve her musical path in an era where it’s hard to stand out. With accolades that continue to put her in the limelight, through it all, Tia stays grounded and lets her music do the talking because every time she drops, she makes it her priority to make a statement—and she did just that with her new album “I Can’t Wait.”
At 15-tracks, Tia displays her undeniable talent and how versatile she can be as an artist throughout “I Can’t Wait.” There are songs like “FreakyT” produced by legendary Honorable C.N.O.T.E., where Tia shows she has the swagger to ride any beat. But at the same time, a track like “Kite” with vibrant hyper-pop production proves Tia is expanding her sound and refuses to be stagnant as an artist. Everything about this release backs up my theory. Tia doesn’t have anything else to prove to doubters, yet she’s still determined to make an example of them and succeeds on this project.
I had the opportunity to catch up with TiaCorine, and we talked about Kenny Beats, the process of making “I Can’t Wait,” anime, and much more. Check out our conversation below.
I have to talk about the concept. How did this album come together?
I just put it together because I record many different sounds and songs. I wanted to do something where there’s at least one song for you if you don’t like the whole project. I tried to put different genres on there because I’m a genre-bending artist. I didn’t want it to be just one thing. A lot of times, I see artists make one sound, and later in their careers, they want to do something else. Then people are like, “I want the old you.” So I wanted to make sure I gave them every flavor so they know always to expect something different when it comes to me.
Did you approach this project differently than your other ones? Were you trying to make a statement?
I wanted to make sure that it was undeniable. When you hear this music, you can’t deny I’m hard. You all got to give me my flowers this time because all these songs are so different. They all have bars, and they all have a great aesthetic. You can’t deny it now.
What is the meaning behind the Kingdom Hearts-themed artwork?
It was a collaboration of Kingdom Hearts, mixed with Wizard of Oz and Final Fantasy. It all goes with the theme of “I Can’t Wait.” If you’ve ever played the Kingdom Hearts series, you know how they tell a story and ask you to choose what you want to do in your life—I have the first Kingdom Hearts on PS2, so it asks what direction you would like to go in your life. That was the reason why I had the pink trail. I feel like throughout my music career, I’ve been through a lot of stuff. I wouldn’t say I’ve been fighting demons [laughs], but I have been through many negative things and dark times. I feel like now I’ve reached that point where I have seen the light, and I could see the “land of Tia,” the “land of Oz,” the “land of everything I always wanted,” and what I actually am. And not just this grey area between being underground and being mainstream. So this was my way of saying, “I can’t wait to get there.”
Which song did you enjoy making the most?
Probably “Chaka Khan.” It was really fun. It was with Kenny [Beats], and it was a good vibe, especially how we put it together. We listened to it about 20 times after we made it. It was definitely a party, and we were turnt up.
Speaking of Kenny Beats, we have been begging for “Chaka Khan” since we heard it on Kenny’s stream. How does it feel now that the video is out there?
OMG, it feels amazing, like finally! I wanted to drop it for a while, too. But, you know, it’s a timing thing. I had to be patient. But it finally feels good.
The production was an aspect that stood out in this project. You included 2 of my favorite producers, Kenny Beats and Dylvinci. Are there any slept-on producers you want to show love to?
C-Herbo is hard. Otxoa is on there, but he’s been on most of my projects and is hard. Oh yeah, Curtis Waters, he’s an artist, but he’s also a fire ass producer. He produced “Boogie” with me and Tony Shhnow. There’s another producer named Christian Yoon, and he’s hard. That’s all I can think of now—wait—there’s also Orondeus. He’s from Charlotte. I dropped an EP on SoundCloud called “Pussy,” and he did those beats. He’s hard, too.
That’s fire that you kept the NC connection. What was the hardest part of the journey working on the project?
Probably picking the songs to go on there. I have so many, and choosing them and putting them in the right order was tough. Usually, when I do a project, I want to add transitions and sounds. But this time, because I had so many different songs, I just wanted to make sure that it vibes. Like it goes up, then it goes down, like a rollercoaster. I wanted to keep people in. So making the tracklist and picking the songs were hard for me.
I heard you love anime, so if you could be placed in any anime show, which one?
Hunter × Hunter, it’s the coolest show. They be getting it in. I f*ck with seeing him training and digging deep in your soul to find these new powers. I really f*ck with that. That’s how I feel about making music and making new songs. It feels like I’m unlocking new characters. Yeah, Hunter × Hunter, would be cool.