ANCHORAGE (KTUU) His passion for music started at a young age. Now, 26 years later, local hip hop artist, Tayy Tarantino has made quite a name for himself. Tarantino grew up on the east side of town in the Boniface area of Anchorage. His dad owned a fourplex and that moved his family to the city's south side where he graduated from Service High School in 2010.
Local hip hop artist Tayy Tarantino on set of his latest song, To Live and Die in AK.
He started singing at the age of 5, rapping by the time he was in middle school and quickly started to realize his talent on the mic. Tarantino looks up to artists like Jay Z, J. Cole and Drake, paving his own way to make Anchorage's hip hop scene come to light.
"It's like wow, we here, all the hard work, all the sacrifice, all the dedication and we're here now you know," said Tarantino.
His latest album titled To Live and Die in AK hits close to home. His friend who he considered a brother, Preston Clark Jr. was shot and killed in Anchorage in August 2015. Clark's photo is one of many in Tarantino's video that hang from a tree during one of the scenes, a concept that pays tribute to victims of homicide.
"The whole concept behind it was like I said we need to put it in their face you know what I mean, put everything in their face and the city and let them know this is what's going on. We have to make a difference, time to make a change," he said.
After the release of his video, Tarantino received a flood of messages from family and friends of some of the victim's in his video, all thanking him for his message.
"That's the overwhelming part like you know you drop a video, then all of a sudden like people are hitting you up like that's my son, that's my brother, that's my sister," said Tarantino.
He said hard work and trusting the process is what keeps him going. He's become a voice for his generation, but said no matter the venue, the bright lights or success, he'll always remain true to his 907 roots.
"I don't care where I'm at, D.C., Cali, wherever, I'm gonna come back and always fool with my city," he said.
Tarantino's album is available on all major online outlets. He plans to keep making music and in March, he'll go on tour in Texas for the South by Southwest Music Festival.
You can connect with Tayy on social media.