"All I want to do is give to, and bless those around me. To give back to those who have helped me... that right there is the greatest gift of all."

What started off as merely an expression of frustration-has turned into a blossoming career for 23 year old Tarik Trotter. Plagued by poverty and a lack of opportunity, Tarik's self-expectation to transcend his poor upbringing motivates the young rapper.

Born in East New York, Tarik Trotter, who goes by his stage name "Tarik", has been surrounded by poverty his entire life. Facing eviction time and time again, Tarik has found himself moving in and out of various apartments in Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens. Though he has found himself in Shelter Homes, and even homeless, Tarik keeps a positive attitude. It is his mission in life to remove his family from their current circumstance, and to give back to the places he came from. Originally, getting an education was his ticket to doing so.

Tarik began writing music at age 20. It was December of 2009 and Tarik was in between semesters of his sophomore year at St. Thomas Aquinas College. When his parents denied co-signing a second loan for him, the realization that he would have to drop out of college began to sink in. He sat alone in his dorm room, with the realization that he would not be able to aid his family with a college degree, and began to write about his circumstance. He wrote covers of well-known songs by Drake, Clipse, and others. Since he couldn't afford recording costs, he recorded songs in a friend's bedroom, with pillows on the walls to deflect sound.

Since his rocky start, Tarik's honest and transparent writing has paid off. His initial mixtape "T.R.I.G.S." (The Reason I Get Signed) has amassed over 25,000 downloads, and his lead single "Weatherman" has recently garnered over 300,000 YouTube views. He has opened for several prominent acts such as Fabolous, Ice Cube, French Montana, Curren$y, Chris Webby, and many others. He has performed at notable venues such as Irving Plaza and Bowery Ballroom in New York City, Toads Place in Connecticut and The Electric Factory in Philadelphia.

Tarik's second mixtape, "Here To Stay" is set to release at the end of the summer. With an eclectic mix of songs, it is a collection of his best work to date. From an introspective view of his current struggles, to projecting his fantasy of one day being able to support his family, to his self-confidence in his own ability as a rapper, Tarik shows throughout the tape that he is not limited in the type of music he can make. Keep an eye-out for the young New York City MC, only time will tell if he can live up to his own expectations for himself.

"At the end of the day, more than anything, what matters to me, is that people are listening and that people can relate to what I'm saying."