Tye Tribbett Interview 2009
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Tye Tribbett’s Tidbits
in Gospel music,
& Much More!
By Shamerra T. Brown
There’s no question that Tye Tribbett stands out, but for more reasons than one might initially
suppose. Beyond the long locks, high leaps and signature screams, the prolific musician has
carved out his own brand of variance.
His first three projects – Life, Victory Live, and Stand Out – exceeded industry expectations and
generated legions of Tye Tribbett wannabes. However, underneath all the awards and accolades,
the self-proclaimed prodigal son had to face some battles that rather caught him unaware.
In a more candid conversation than we dared to have in our interview three years ago, he shows
us what separates the good from the excellent (via Scripture-laden views). Ladies and gentlemen,
Tyrone Tribbett III ...
Shamerra T. Brown: So, a few years ago, you and Shanté told me about you pastoring. How’s that
“venture” coming along? Feel like you’re getting closer?
Tye Tribbett: Uh-oh! Why is this the first question?! ... I guess as it gets closer, I try to run farther!
[Laughs] You know, I will preach every day, I just don’t want the responsibility as a shepherd. And
then, I’m waiting for this and that to be in place. [I’m thinking] If I’m gonna pastor, it’s got to be
X, Y, Z. But God is dealing with me about process, and I don’t like process. If feel like He teases me
by showing me the vision for the end, and I’m like, “Whoooooa! God, I’m gonna have this?!” … and
then you start here (low place) and it’s like aaaaaah! I know, “despise not the day of small
beginnings,” (Zech. 4:10) and I understand that … I got a prophesy not too long ago and the
person was talking about being as the 10 leopers, “… as you go … ”
Shamerra: As you go, you’ll be healed (Luke 17:10-19) …
Tye: And I want to be better, I want to mature as a man of God, and for me, there are things I want
to conquer within myself, stuff that I want to get over before I step into that office. I believe with
every generation, there is “a voice,” and I feel like God is raising me up to be one of the voices.
The Bible says that there are “many instructors, but not many fathers” (I Cor. 4:15) and I feel like
God is raising up a fatherhood anointing on me ... but it’s like, if God says you’re gonna be a
musician, you’re gonna think of who plays what instrument you would like to play.
Shamerra: That’s true.
Tye: If He tells you that you’re gonna be a great
guitar player, you automatically think of who plays
guitar, whether it be Lenny Kravtiz, Israel [Houghton].
You’re not gonna think, “Oh I’m gonna start a new
wave of guitars!” No, you're gonna think “Israel.”
So [as far as pastoring], I lined up leadership
with my past experiences, which have not been
the most appealing, and it didn’t raise my interest
Shamerra: Well, what if you’re the one to be a game-changer, in this generation?
Tye: Yeah, but how do you see that? The word of God is the word of faith so you rarely see the
thing … But I know God has called me to do it, and He didn’t call a perfect person, He never does.
But, I just pray that when it happens, it will just flow. I know it’s not gonna be something I “want” --
well, you know what, it is something that I want because, every time I leave a concert, I’m like, “Man,
where are these [young people] gonna go?” I would love to teach and develop.
Tye: That’s why when I do little things, or drop “nuggets,” as my cousin says, he says they’re so
heavy. But that’s because I’m not [the person who will say], “When I think of the goodness of Jesus
… ain’t God good -- bye!” Man, I just like to develop, but I don’t always know where the audience is
[spiritually], so I just come in where I am and try to bring it to them. But yeah, I’m into discipleship,
so that is a burden of mine, to shepherd and develop.
Shamerra: Well, let me shift to that topic since you went there. You have a tremendous passion for
youth. But there seems to be somewhat of a disconnect with the body of Christ as it relates to
(Christian and non-Christian) youth. Are we going wrong … or, where did we go wrong?
Tye: I don’t think anybody has gone wrong. It’s that the Bible is the truth, it says that in the last days
perilous times shall come, men shall be lovers of themselves … children disobedient to parents
(II Tim. 3:1-10). And it’s not that you’re not a good parent, it’s just the Bible being true. The Bible
does speak of this great disconnect where many shall fall away. The Bible also speaks of a great
gathering as well (I Thes. 2:1-3, Eph. 1:10), so I don’t “blame” the church, there are a lot of things
we can do better as the church, as far as extending grace. Where sin abounds, grace abounds
much more (Rom. 5:20). So we should have much more grace; I always use the prodigal son. I think
he’s me. I think I’m the father sometimes, and then the son sometimes. I think the father’s response
to his son was just amazing. First response was that he saw him from a great way off.
Shamerra: From a distance …
Tye: Yes! But the son wasn’t there yet, and the father ran to him when he was a great way off. He
was, let’s use it [in today’s situations] – he’s still smoking, he’s still drinking. He’s a great way off but
at least he’s on the way back. You know what I mean? His heart turned, he was ready
Shamerra: Mm hm.
Tye: I think we wait for, “Oh my God, my son is here, and he’s in a suit, and it’s Easter, and he’s
back!” But what about when his heart turned? Your heart can turn in a club, your heart can turn in
a hotel room, smoking or whatever. So we have to notice the ones who, are not here yet, but are a
great way off, go hug them and embrace them, show them the love of Christ. The Bible says, in
Romans 2:4, that “It is the goodness of the Lord that leadeth men to repentance.” It’s the goodness
of the Lord, not the wrath! Now, we do need awareness of His wrath, but it’s not [wrath] that makes
them say, “Oh my God, let me get myself together!” It’s the goodness! Moses [said], “Show me your
glory, Lord” (Ex. 33:18-23). God [says], “I’m going to show you My goodness, because if I show you
My glory --
Shamerra: You’re out of here!
Tye: [Laughs] Yeah, so that’s one thing the church can do is extend grace -- not leniency! Not
enabling them to continue in sin so that grace may abound (Rom. 6:1); yes, discipline and raise up
a child in the way he should go (Prov. 22:6), but at the same time, be understanding.
Tye: Paul said, “I become a Jew to win the Jew” (I Cor. 9:19-23). But he means mentally --
Shamerra: Right, he does not mean “in sin.”
Tye: Exactly. You can’t be like, “I become a lesbian to win a lesbian,” no, understanding that they
are entangled in a yoke of bondage, that is “becoming” them, seeing where they are. And I think
that’s one of the secrets to winning this generation.
Shamerra: What are you studying?
Tye: I’m studying grace right now. I mean, it’s a fundamental message, but it’s blowing my mind!
Tye: Grace is not [only] the unmerited favor … are y’all crazy?! I studied the dispensations. First,
there’s the dispensation of human existence, there’s innocence, consciousness, then human
government, then promise (Abraham), and then law, and now we’re under grace. This is so crazy
’cause you see this is what God was trying to get to the whole time.
Shamerra: That was the plan.
Tye: And you see grace in every dispensation. He covered Adam, and you see grace all
throughout. So, from Moses to the shedding of blood is the dispensation of law; but when [Christ’s]
blood was shed, that released the dispensation of grace. In Micah 7:18, the Bible says, “The Lord
doesn’t retain His anger, for He delighteth in mercy.” In Ezekiel 33:11, it says, “He takes no
pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they are turned from their evil ways and repent.”
So He doesn’t … if a murderer gets the death penalty, we’re like, “Yeah!” God has no pleasure in
the death of the wicked, but He would rather them turn. The Bible says that He’s not slack
concerning His promises. We always look at that like, “Yeah I’m gonna get my car,” but that
Scripture in II Peter was talking about punishment for false prophets, and it seemed like God was
taking a long time, but [in that] He was saying that He was not slack concerning His promises, as
men count slackness. He was giving them time and space to repent. He was gonna get them, but
rather they repent … It’s kind of like if I slap you in the face, you’d be like, “Say sorry!”
Shamerra: Giving you a minute? Mmm … OK.
Tye: You’re like, I’d rather squash it, than punish you. Oh God!!
Shamerra: Come on preacher!
Tye: This grace is killin’ me man! It’s all in that vein and
it’s making me love God all the more.
Shamerra: OK … and alright!
Tye: [Breaking into an unknown tongue] But read
that, “not slack ...”
Shamerra: [And another unknown tongue] OK,
which chapter is that in?
Tye: II Peter …
Shamerra: There are only three chapters! [Laughs]
Tye: [Laughs] OK, well one of the three!
Shamerra: Context is very important.
Tye: Yeah, ’cause we’re like, “I’m gonna get my money … ”
Shamerra: Way over there somewhere … So, Victory, the album. OK, the deaths [of a long-time
choir member and also Tye’s uncle] happened, you were writing, arranging, getting prepped. Then
the night eventually comes for the live recording. Did you feel like you had the “victory” at that
time? Here’s what I’m saying --
Tye: You’re killing me!
Shamerra: This is the thing: you’re telling others about having the victory in the face of some of
the greatest trials of your life. Did you feel like you were already more than a conqueror or did you
have to minister to people in the midst of not yet having obtained it? We’re you like, “Lord, I don’t
know who, what, when, where …
Tye: That one! That song was definitely a song of faith. The lyrics [to the title track, “Victory”] would
have read: “I lost …” because I felt like I lost.
Shamerra: At the recording, was it still --
Tye: If y’all look at the DVD and look at the song “Victory,” I was out of it. I didn’t feel victory at all,
but I had to sing it. I was at the lowest point of my life. I didn’t feel like a winner, but God proved to
me that, in those places … that’s why the word of God is the word of God, because He’s the truth.
You ever hear, “The devil is a liar, the devil is a liar?!” Well he lies to us -- about us!
Shamerra: And we [have] believed it …
Tye: Yeah, he was like, “You know you’re defeated man, you ain’t ready for this recording, you
should wait until you get strength.” But that was my strength! The Word is your strength. Alright,
I don’t know what we think a blessing is, but a blessing is like a benediction. “Bene” means good,
and “diction” is a word or speech. So, “good speech,” is a blessing, they speak a blessing over you.
So, if you’re waiting on a blessing, all somebody has to do is speak good over you. Watch this,
Jacob wrestled a Man, the Bible says, all night long (Gen 32:22-32). He said, “I will not let You go
unless You bless me.” The Man says, “Who are you?” He says, “I’m Jacob …,” “No you’re not,
you’re Israel, for as a prince, you have favor with God and with man.” The Bible says, “…. and He
blessed him then.” He didn’t leave with gold, he didn’t leave with silver, he didn’t leave with money.
The blessing was, “You’re Israel.” Speaking who you are is the blessing. So, “Victory” was a
blessing to me -- speaking the benediction, speaking good over my life --
Shamerra: Right while you didn’t feel it.
Tye: While I didn’t feel it. That’s the key! If you can feel everything Godly, you won’t need faith.
Real faith kicks in when feelings run out. If your feelings were the truth, then there’s no need for the
Word or faith. You’d just feel it, and it’s right, but that’s not it. You’re the head and not the tail,
you’re above and not beneath, you’re the lender and not the borrower (Deut. 28:12) … You got to
keep drilling these words in you, and if you don’t hear it for yourself … you’ve got to speak it for
yourself. And I know this sounds real churchy, but “faith cometh by hearing” (Rom. 10:17). You
ever find yourself saying, “I’m going to church [because] I need a word?” Nine times out of 10,
you know “the word” you need …
Shamerra: You already know it! [Laughs]
Tye: [Laughs] I’m ’bout to hit you with this chair! Even if it’s, “Lord, I just need strength!”
Shamerra: You already know that! [Laughs]
Tye: [Screams] You know it! So, if you come and you can leave church disappointed, because you
didn’t get the word that you expected … but you have had it the whole time, and faith cometh by
hearing, you might have to look in the mirror and say, “His strength is made perfect in my
weakness” (II Cor. 12:9). You might have to say what you need to hear so you can believe it and
gain faith. So “Victory” was me speaking what I needed, and it became reality in my life.
Shamerra: So now, you’d say you have a totally different perspective on Victory than you did when
you recorded in 2005?
Tye: Oh yeah, now I’m like, “This is what you all can be!” [Laughs] But you know what, actually, I’m
in a different place now. Now I’m soliciting victory in other areas of my life. Not really self-affirmation;
I was at that place of terrible affirmation of defeat, sadness and depression … well I’m not there
anymore, but I’m soliciting victory in other areas of my life. So that song is still therapy or faith for
me. Faith is not --
Shamerra: Uh-oh, preacher is back!
Tye: Faith is not for you to get things from God. OK, we go from glory to glory and from faith to faith.
Shamerra: Yes, we do.
Tye: So there are different levels of faith. The first level of faith is not to get something. But you
grow up thinking, “Hey, ask God by faith … that car is coming by faith …” Man, if you read Hebrews
11, the whole chapter shows you the faith hall of fame: “By faith, Abraham … by faith, Sarah …”
but it never said, “By faith, Joseph ‘got.’”
Shamerra: And it goes on to say, “These all died not receiving -- ” (verses 13, 39).
Tye: Not receiving the promise! [Screams] Oh my God!! So what is faith for, you got me?
Shamerra: Yes sir.
Tye: So now, let’s go to John 1:12. That says, “And as many receiveth Him, to them He gave power
to become the sons of God.”
Shamerra: Mmm … my God!
Tye: As many as receiveth Him, Jesus, right? Jesus is the Word. When you receive the Word by
faith, you get power to become a son of God. Jesus is the Word. So when you receive the Word by
faith, you get power to become what you just heard. Faith is to become! If any man be in Christ, he
gets a new car?
Shamerra: No!! “He becomes a new creature” (II Cor. 5:17).
Tye: The first level of faith is change. Change! So when I get a Word, I should become it. If I really
believe and receive by faith the Word, I become it … Peter … walking on water -- he became it. So
the question is, which sermon have you become? All this Word you’ve heard, and you’re
disappointed because you haven’t seen it in your life. That’s because you have not changed and
adjusted [to the Word].
Tye: So that’s one of the first levels. And then you go to, “Ask and it shall be given” (Luke 11:9) …
but the first level is change, and we don’t get to see the “Call those things that be not …”
(Rom. 4:17), .. and “Money cometh.” We don’t get to see these different manifestations because we
have not accomplished the first level, which is change. And why would God give you anything if you
haven’t changed? Give you a house, for what? So you can fornicate in private?!
Tye: Why would He enable? Romans 8:32, “If God didn’t withhold His only Son --
Shamerra: How much more --
Tye: With Him, will He freely give us all things.” See, if God gave you His own … but with Him … in
other words, if God sees His Son in us, He can give us anything. The issue is, He don’t see Jesus
in some of us. Because He doesn’t trust us, but He trusts Him in us. And rightfully so, Lord.
Shamerra: I got that, rightfully so.
Tye: Whooooo! We havin’ a little revival in here!
Shamerra: Listen, if we watch Christian television, just for one day ...
Tye: Mmmmm …
Shamerra: I know … So we’ll get one somebody who proclaims that the church is in an excellent
state. And then, another will come and preach our gloom and doom. Where would you say we are,
in the body of Christ? And what would Jesus say … is He pleased?
Tye: The reason why I’m not on MySpace, I’m not on FaceBook, I don’t read comments online …
Shamerra: You’re not Tweeting?
Tye: I’m not on Twitter. If you’re on there, praise God, give God the glory – [Tye’s phone rings and
it’s his wife, Shanté … they discuss some Scriptures for a message she’s to deliver the next day.
When the call is over, his handlers are urging him to cut the interview to go eat, to which Tye says]
“I have meat that you know not of” (John 4:32).
Shamerra: [Laughs] OK, Jesus.
Tye: The reason why I’m not on those [social networking sites] is because I don’t think everybody
should have a voice. Everybody is cool to have an opinion, but to be able to voice it for it to be
heard around the world? “This album’s great,” “This album sucks,” “Awe man, this is the best music
I ever heard …” Too many opinions, man. I think God was on to something back in the Old
Testament when He spoke to the people through one person. Elijah, Jonah, Moses, Noah, then
Jesus hit the scene … you know, He gave us all the power to do everything, but my point is, you got
to be very careful of where we are in the body of Christ. In the Bible, He leaves us instructions. He
says to try every spirit (I John 4:1). It says many will come in the last days … man will not endure
sound doctrine (II Tim. 4:3) … These preachers are about to get crazy! Basically, just entertaining
your itching ears … and people will just run to wherever.
Shamerra: Umm, some have already gone there, Tye.
Tye: And preachers are gonna entertain. It could have been a good, solid preacher, but just
conformed to what the people wanted. Man, it’s a lot going on in the body of Christ, especially with
the leaders. Ezekiel 22:26 says, “Woe unto you … for you have profaned the holy things, and put
no difference between the holy and the profane.” So it’s the leaders. I know the [lay]people don’t
separate the holy from the profane sometimes, but it’s the leaders.
Shamerra: Yeah, everyone has responsibilities, but there should be a standard maintained among
leaders ’cause the expectations and judgment are more severe for people who are chosen, or
responsible, to lead others. And, rightfully so.
Tye: Right, they’ll say, “When I have my big conference, I put secular artists and Gospel!” So,
it’s [leaders] who put no difference between … “I’m doing 'Celebration of Gospel' with secular
and Gospel …” But you feel what I’m saying?
Shamerra: Yeah …
Tye: It’s the powers that be and the gatekeepers who are putting no difference between the holy
and profane; and the Bible says, “Now My name is profane among the heathen” (Ez. 36:21-23). In
other words, profane means secular, and now, God’s name is not sacred among the world --
Shamerra: It’s [become] common.
Tye: Yeah, "Jesus is my homeboy!" And it’s because we have put no difference between, so we
have to be careful.
Shamerra: What do you want to say about Jesus?
Tye: What?! That’s so broad!
Shamerra: Exactly … hence the challenge of summarizing, Tribbett … don’t act up. So, what’s your
life’s message about Jesus?
Tye: You can’t ask me that!
Shamerra: I can, and we need to see if your answer has changed since our last interview. You're a
songwriter, you can do it!
Tye: What do I want to say, about Jesus --
Shamerra: Yeah, like if you had a couple of lines to fill, what would you say to represent or to give
a word about Jesus to anybody, saved or not?
Tye: Jesus is not an opinion or option. I’m getting [booked at] a lot of venues now where [people
are] saying your religion is your choice. Jesus is not a choice, He’s not an option … He is the way,
the truth and the life! He’s not a part of my life, He is life. So, Jesus is not an option, He’s not a
choice, He’s not an opinion, He is the way, the truth and the life … and you’re not living if you don’t
have Him. You don’t have the truth if you don’t have Him, and you’re lost if you don’t have Him.
Shamerra: OK, gotcha. So, you’re featured on a “few” projects with other Gospel artists. Do you
just accept invites left and right, as long as it’s a Christian endeavor? How do you decide that?
Tye: I am?! [Laughs] Shamerra’s trying to play me out y’all!
I just did Byron Cage’s CD.
Shamerra: And Vickie Winans, Smokie Norful,
Bishop Eddie Long, Kirk Franklin …
Tye: How do I choose? It’s not a [record] label thing.
If I can do it, if I like the song … and, you know,
I ask to listen to a lot of the [entire] project, too …
Shamerra: Smart move!
Tye: I ask if I can listen to the rest of the project so I can see what direction they’re going in. So no,
I don’t say “yes” to everybody. [Another Gospel artist] just asked me to do a song, and I didn’t do it
because, on that particular album, [secular rapper] is also on there. And, you know, I guess
[rapper] is trying to --
Shamerra: Oh so you have standards and convictions!
Tye: [Laughs] What you trying to say?! Yeah, I really do and the Bible says to be blameless
(Gen. 44:10, II Pet. 3:4). Not sinless, because we all have sinned and sin, but to be blameless,
’cause once you can be blamed, then the God you represent can also be blamed.
Shamerra: Yeah, I saw [rapper] on [Gospel music program]. Said nothing about Jesus, and you
have to pay attention to that because a lot of them will say God all day long and appear “spiritual,”
because “spirituality” is supposed to be the OK thing to have now, but you might be hard-pressed
to find those who will publicly, exclusively claim Jesus.
Tye: Yeah, I think it’s cool that he’s getting a Godly swagger, but again, that don’t mean we need
you to have a voice.
Shamerra: Exactly. The very program was originally a showcase or platform to get to know
Christian artists and entertainers, and for them to talk about their faith-based music, ministries,
and their life and faith in Christ. There are other media outlets or options for the “other” stuff.
And the problem is not them claiming God, it's that their other music and public lifestyle clearly say
Tye: Or, you don’t preach at my church if your music is …
Shamerra: OK, so will we get a studio album from you again, or are you addicted to the “live” thing?
Tye: Studio album is coming up, ladies and gentlemen. We’re in the studio now trying to gather
material, and the material is crazy … I’m splitting the choir up now, so it’s gonna be a girl band and
a guy band.
Shamerra: What do you mean … uh-oh, Beyoncé!
Tye: Forget Bey – kidding, kidding. I thought of this idea way before she came out with it.
Shamerra: Mmm … OK.
Tye: So a guy band, girl band and we’re gonna split it up. It’s bringing like new life to G.A. [Greater
Anointing], new energy. The girls are trying to battle the guys. I’m like yo, you will never win.
Shamerra: Like, a whole album?
Tye: No, no, one CD, maybe four girl [songs], four guy [songs], and maybe like five G.A. songs with
them together … ’cause I’m too scared to put them out [on an album] by themselves. I want to
introduce them first.
Shamerra: How do you feel about Christian music competitions, such as "Gospel Dream" or
"Sunday Best?" You’re judging for excellence, talent, etc., but with people who are singing to and
Tye: Why are you asking me these questions?!
Shamerra: Well, you were on "Sunday Best," the first season. Crystal Aikin’s year … she loves
you, by the way.
Tye: I love Crystal. I love the fact that real, solid believers who are talented and anointed, such as
Crystal Aikin, get the opportunity to be heard and get the exposure so she can expand her ministry.
They asked me to be a judge on there before they started the show. I refuse to say you’re not good
enough, you’re not it, you’re not … I refuse to say that. Because I believe singing Gospel music, I
don’t think you can do that … But how else will the Crystals … God, I hate to say this …
Shamerra: You have to say it now, sorry …
Tye: Naw, it looks bad for me.
Shamerra: I think I know where you’re going. I feel you.
Tye: Help me out … How do I get Corey [a lesser-known musician] that type of exposure? The way
the world is now, that’s the type of system that is set up, where it can happen. I don’t know if it’s a
“wise as a serpent” type thing (Matt. 10:16), I hate going along with the systems and the ways of
the world, that’s why I didn’t want to say anything, but that’s the type of system that was set up and
was already established to get great people exposed and actually signed. So, how do we get a
Crystal Aikin who nobody knows, but has the anointing and has something to say and to offer the
body of Christ? How do we get her the opportunity to minister on the same platform as a Kirk
Franklin or a CeCe Winans? How do we do that? Or, do we say, “Hey … we know a girl who can
sing, put her on one of your albums!” That can happen, too, but we don’t take that on as a
responsibility, because we’re selfish, or because the economy is bad, so we have to take care of
Shamerra: That actually makes good sense. You’ve been doing this for a few years now. Has any
of it become monotonous? With traveling and concerts … I know you love to minister, but do you
create ways to keep it fresh?
Tye: I don’t know if I’m just hyper, but I’m always excited. I mean, my wife, for the most part is like,
“Alright, slow it down.” For me, it’s always fresh, always new. If we do [a show in] Virginia tonight,
then Virginia next week, then Virginia the next week, I’ll be excited every time. We keep it fresh,
we write songs on the spot, we just keep it fresh.
Shamerra: Not tired, not bored?
Tye: No, not bored yet! I talked to Hezekiah Walker, Donald Lawrence, they’re like 20-something
years in the game and they’re like, “I’m sick of hotel food, I’m sick of planes …” Naw, I’m not there
Shamerra: Do you feel like you’re still paying your dues or was that what you were doing before
the major record deal? Are you waiting to have a year like Marvin Sapp had in ’08?
Tye: I don’t think I’ll ever have a Marvin Sapp year. I’ve settled that in mind. Because I think with
music, I would like this too much. I already love the music side of my ministry so much, I feel like if
I ever got a year like that, I’ll never preach! But am I waiting on a Marvin Sapp year? No, I’m
content right now and I don’t feel like I’ve paid all my dues, I feel like I’m still paying, in some areas.
Shamerra: Do you want to act?
Tye: Yeah, are you crazy?! I want to get out of these churches, and when I say that, I mean to
expand. I want to do more than just this. I want to do Broadway. I want to do something. When you
go to Vegas, there’s the Blue Man Show, Wayne Newton ... East Coast, you got New York, and
even in Vegas, why is there not a Gospel show? You’ve got Wayne Newton and Celine Dion, why is
there not a Gospel show? Why isn’t there something fun? I don’t know. I have a play concept where
we deal with a lot of issues and people make the unpopular decision, like, real typical stuff –
everybody’s smoking, then I don’t smoke. Everybody’s fornicating? Well, I don’t. School scenes,
work scenes, etc.
Shamerra: You’re with the Alliance Agency for booking now … is your mom still your manager?
Tye: My mom is still booking me, but along with her, Alliance gets me other opportunities in other
markets, such as CCM, mainstream stuff.
Shamerra: What’s going on with your label (Sony)? Y’all survived them getting rid of thier Gospel
division. Ever thought about having your own label (which is a trend) and just getting a distributor?
Tye: Yeah. I thought that was gonna be the case with this [upcoming album]. But we’re going to do
one more run while we get our administration together. You have to do a lot of legwork, a lot of
investing, I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, the next CD after the one we’re working on,
we’ll be ready. And we already have other artists that we’re ready to sign.
Shamerra: What’s the name of the next album?
Tye: “A Bunch of Believers.”
Shamerra: Wow. That’s going to be bananas!
Tye: The song, “Bunch of Believers” is crazy, so I’m thinking about calling the album the same.
Shamerra: What’s the first thing you think of when I say Tye Tribbett?
Tye: [Laughs loudly] Clark Kent.
Shamerra: You did not just laugh out loud like that. Superman?
Tye: See, everybody’s thinking Superman, but I see Clark Kent.
Shamerra: What inspires you?
Tye: Yo, at this point, any and everything. Your blouse!
Shamerra: [Laughs] What upsets you?
Tye: Inconsistencies. Not even all outwardly, with myself as well.
Shamerra: Ever want to give up?
Tye: Yeah, once a week!
Shamerra: What keeps you going?
Tye: Responsibilities. I mean, I think I could give up and leave the face of the earth and I’ll be cool
with it. But [sings] “what about the children?!”
Shamerra: Don’t do it, Yolanda!
Tye: Aaaaahh! God set me up! My burden for the people overrides my feelings. My commitment to
Shamerra: That’s a good reason, the main one. I don’t know why you didn’t say that first! Kidding,
Shamerra: You’re more approachable and less guarded than some artists, and your supporters
know a lot about you already … so what will people be surprised to learn?
Tye: I think, being transparent, I battle a lot in my head. Temptations are crazy. I feel like my wife
and I have conquered the beast and the giant of poverty and failure, but the giant of success, we
weren’t ready for. I always heard people say, “New levels, new devils.” I used to think “Yeah right,”
but now I know that’s real. You can’t be tempted beyond your exposure. So God said, “Tye, you
can limit your temptations if you limit what you expose yourself to.” Which is why these kids are
crazy, because with YouTube, the Internet, they’re exposed to everything. So now that God is
exposing me to more things, it’s a blessing, [but] at the same time, if you don’t bring yourself under
subjection, it will be a whole different thing. I don’t know many people, besides Tonéx and Kirk
Franklin, who just get up and blast their struggles like that … but you know, I choose to magnify
God in the midst of it and I choose to exemplify my response to trials and troubles. The devil is
pressing, that’s with everybody, but what is our response to that? I will bless the Lord, oh my soul
(Ps. 103:1). So, I choose to sing the response.
Shamerra: I can respect that. I like the part about bringing yourself under subjection. We have to
do our part. OK, last question. Shanté is singing with G.A.
Tye: And preaching now!
Shamerra: I know, I got to get her ’bout that … So, most people in her position choose to take a
supportive role behind the scenes … or non-supportive, but that’s another article! Shanté is right
there to support you and to be involved. I talked to her a while back and she was right where she
wanted to be. How do you feel about having her close when you’re working?
Tye: Well, I prefer it too, but we’re at the place where, she turned 30 this year and I married her
when she was 18, so I kind of stripped her life. So, I’m trying to be on her choir now. She’s been on
my choir for 11, 12 years. So, I’m like, what do you want to do? She’s going to school in September,
so she won’t be traveling with me as much. Boo-hoo, boo-hoo. I’ve never not had my wife with me,
so I’m not anticipating that at all. But at the same time, I can’t wait for her to develop as a woman
outside of me.
Shamerra: What’s she going to major in?
Tye: I think theology and psychology. I can’t wait for her to develop outside of me, and her
professors know her as Shanté Tribbett, and not “Tye’s wife.” You know, I think that’s fair to her
and I can’t wait to see the type of woman she’s going to be, which is going to be better for us. So,
we’re at a place now where she’s ready to develop and I’m ready to let my baby go to college.
Shamerra: Let my people go!
Tye: [Laughs] Yeah, you know what I mean? I’m really excited about that, and I’m proud of her. It’s
hard, it’s strenuous, she has friends who are outside of our circle, and I’m like, “Where you going?”
She’s like, “I’m going out with my girls.” I’m like, [sad voice] “Alright, what y’all doing? When you
gonna be back? Where are you going? What do you do when you go there?”
Shamerra: Well, that’s cute.
Tye: At first, it was strenuous, ’cause I’m used to me and her, me and her, me and her! So, you
know, like now she’s preaching and she has to call me for little Scriptures, but I’m not like, “Yo, you
should go to Ezekiel …” I’m not overshadowing her. I didn’t realize that it could be bondage. To me,
it’s provision. When we first got married, she started working, so I started playing [music] at another
church to make more money. I told her that she didn’t have to work, so she stopped working. I told
her she didn’t have to do anything. Maybe a 40-year-old would be like, wow, that’s a dream come
true, but she was 18. She probably needed to work, to be socially connected. But I was like (not
with the intent of stripping her), “Babe, I got you.”
Shamerra: You wanted to provide.
Tye: Yeah, like, “You don’t have to do nothing.”
But at this point, I feel like, oh snap, maybe I
should have allowed her to do certain things.
Shamerra: But it’s good now.
Tye: It’s good … she understood my heart.
But now I’m letting her do her thing and I’m
crying every day.
Shamerra: I’m proud of both of y’all.
What else you got going on?
Tye: [I’m working with] c28.com, it’s an apparel company.
I call it clothes you can rock and represent in. They all represent the Kingdom of God.
Shamerra: Cool, I’ll check it out.
Tye, being Tye!
Mrs. Shanté Tribbett,
Austyn (oldest daughter),
|Lyncoln and Austyn,
being darling daughters at home.
Austyn. Click here
with Miss Austyn.
Greater Anointing (G.A.) Standing Out.
Tenor Time: Tye does some bonding
with his male vocal section.