Born and raised in Tallahassee, FL, Tareef Knockout is a hip hop artist who loves music, sports, and Robyn ‘Rihanna’ Fenty. Tareef uses his passion for sports as the main driving force of hustle and consistency for his music. While some of us are still struggling to get our heads back in the game after COVID creativity fatigue, Tareef spent his time in lockdown differently. After dropping “Ulmer Court” in November 2020, the grind didn’t stop and he started working on his latest project, “Eggs for Breakfast” right away.
In this quick interview, we talk to Tareef Knockout about his favorite sports teams, the ultimate breakfast, his latest EP and more.
You go hard for your school and make it known that you’re a Noles fan, even if it means going back and forth with a random person on twitter. Are you originally from Tallahassee or did you move to go to school? What are you going to school for?
Tallahassee is home, and anyone following this journey knows my love for Florida State (especially football). I was born and raised in Tallahassee, but I went to Full Sail to study Music Business a few years back. My love for the Noles came from my pops. He played basketball at FSU in the 80’s and met my Ummi while she was at FAMU. Shout out to my Rattlers too!
How important is sports in your life? How close is it to music? If you could become a player in any league, what sport would it be and what team?
Sports are very important to me. I watch a lot of different sports, and it connects with music for me naturally. I love the competitive aspect of it. I want to be great, I want to be a winner. So I feel that drive inside of me to compete, to really see how far I can take this music thing. I played basketball, football and baseball growing up. If I had to choose any league I’d play in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers. IT’S SHOWTIME BABY.
Some people are still experiencing COVID creativity fatigue.. Did this EP come naturally for you or did you struggle with some parts? If so, what was the hardest part about putting the project together? What kept you motivated?
These times have been challenging for all of us and I’ve done my best to stay safe and keep grinding. I actually started working on ‘Eggs for Breakfast’ right after ‘Ulmer Court’ dropped in November 2020. The hardest part about my newest project was coming up with a name for it. I sat on it for a week or two and played one of my songs off there called ‘Turkey Bacon’. It’s a line where I say, “do you want some eggs for breakfast?” Then the lightbulb finally came on.
If you didn’t have to cook or clean the dishes after, what would be the ultimate breakfast for you? How are your eggs cooked? Scrambled with cheese or no cheese? Where is “Oleans” and is that your go to spot?
I hate washing dishes and prepping food to cook so I eat out A LOT probably way too much. TaReef’s ultimate breakfast: Pancakes or French toast, eggs, turkey sausage/bacon, cheese grits and some fruit. I’m good. I love fried eggs or scrambled eggs with some cheese.
Olean’s is a famous soul food spot in Tallahassee right across from FAMU. Ms. O is the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet and her breakfast is some of the best in town. It even got Obama’s attention on his presidential campaign in 2008. Shit, he even got a meal named after him (life goals). Ms. O was really excited when I asked her if I could shoot my album cover there. I try to go there from time to time, it really was just me paying homage to such a historic place. Hopefully it’ll be something I look back on in a few years as a legendary moment for my city.
"The game is designed to break you, longevity only comes to those who really deserve it."
You release a single, music video, or ep every few months or so, how important do you think it is to maintain some sort of consistency as an artist?
Consistency is the major key for any indie artists trying to “make it”. I’m always working even if it doesn’t seem like it. Putting out new content just to gain a little bit of traction, a few blog write ups, some Spotify playlists, and new fans. It’s a long journey, but I feel that traction and hard work will eventually pay off. I see the wins each time I drop. The game is designed to break you, longevity only comes to those who really deserve it.
Has your love for Rihanna changed since she started publicly dating asap rocky? When it’s time to “eat the rich” and round up all the billionaires, what lengths are you going through to save her from the chopping block?
I can’t even lie, it’s been tough seeing her that happy in some of these paparazzi pictures. Maybe just maybe Rocky will fumble that billionaire bag. I’m still in love with her. I would walk a thousand miles to save Robyn Fenty. She must be protected at all costs.
“I’m a cool ass dude living my story. Stream ‘Eggs for Breakfast’ on all streaming platforms today, then tell a friend. Peace.”
In the end, breakfast, music, sports, and Rihanna are things that motivate Tareef to wake up every day and become a better version of himself.