Tate was born Gerry Hurtado in Los Angeles, California to his father Jorge, a local machine shop foreman, and his mother Hilda, a clerk at the nearby Knott's Berry Farm. Tate was a top amateur skater in the early 1970s, but in a 1987 People Magazine interview, he downplayed his ability by saying he “only skated for fun”. Tate later attended a broadcasting trade school, and applied his trade by working as a DJ in punk rock clubs. From his time in the clubs, Tate took up more interest in the newly growing skate rock movement, and recorded his first song, Skaterock Rap, in his friend's basement in 1983. Upon its release, it became popular with skaters and Tate came to emcee parties and skate contests in both Los Angeles and New York.
In the mid-80s, Tate was touring as an opening act for the all-girl thrash band Screaming Sirens, and his music was showing up in skate videos. He released his first album, “A Way Of Life”, in 1988, and the song “La Cumbre” appeared on the Powell Peralta video Public Domain during a scene where the team tours Mexico. Tate originally wrote the song as a tribute to a local skater hangout. Tate later became the Host of SK8-TV, a half-hour television show on Nickelodeon, with co-host Matthew Lynn. The show only lasted one season and was pulled after 13 episodes.
Since his departure from SK8-TV, Tate has also recorded with such acts as Porno For Pyros and was a producer for the acid jazz group The Stone Boners. His song “Jolt” was later featured in the 1991 comedy What About Bob?
On October 13, 2015, Hurtado died of cancer at the age of 56.