There will always be good music. There will always be fiery and attention-grabbing artists, and creatives capable of delivering an inspired message. Quality is abundant, but to truly make it to the heights the world of entertainment has to offer there has got to be something more – that X factor. If there was ever an artist to have it, and flaunt it to his advantage at every turn he’s hit it’s gotta be Meek Mill’s first signee – North Miami’s Tafia.
It’s an unfortunate truth that often our darkest situations lead to our greatest feats, and Tafia is a testament to that notion. Having served a seven year sentence in Miami Federal Detention Center, the Florida phenom came out with a mission – one that he’s now executing in full force. Prior to going away Tafia didn’t even really make music, although he credits himself as a natural writer having always had a knack for it throughout school. He cites boredom as the main driving factor that led him to really tap in with himself.
“It was the time really. I had nothing else to do in there and I knew I could make it work. Anything I put my mind to I know I can make it a big thing. I was already musically inclined, and I was a good writer in general.”
A purveyor of heavy hitting lyrics himself, he cites pulling game from his favorite rappers to construct his sound naming Lil Wayne’s punchlines and sarcasm and Jeezy’s straight to the point street anthems. With influences like that, it’s only natural he found himself gaining traction and confidence while locked up through rap battles. He recalled a time when he went toe-to-toe with a guy from South Carolina and left the rest of the inmates agasp when his opponent couldn’t even muster a response – mainly because he spoke in three different languages when delivering it by combining English, Creole and Jamaican in the middle of the delivery.
“He went first, and then I gave him the one I had for him and he didn’t wanna go no more.”
Tafia’s confidence hit a new peak just at the perfect time as his sentence neared a close when New York legend Fat Joe also found himself in a bid at the same time and the two instantly clicked.
“He just sealed the deal for me. He put that battery pack on my back. When I met him I didn’t even tell him I was a rapper I was just on some chill shit and everyone was up on him. We finally talked he was like ‘I thought your name was E why is everyone calling you Tafia?’ and I was like ‘That’s my rap name.’… I let him hear a freestyle I had to a Biggie song called “Notorious” and he made me repeat that shit to him five or six times.”
After getting out, the soon-to-be DreamChasers signee didn’t waste any time. Over the next few years he fed the streets consistently dropping mixtape after mixtape, garnering a strong regional fanbase consistently asking for new music. It didn’t take too long until his music found ears up north and Meek Mill would soon be reaching out.
“My home boys told me they put him on to my music, and he just kept playing it on his own time. They said all he do is play that video, play that song… I thought they were just gassing me like he thought it was cool, but then he posted it on his IG. He didn’t tag me though, but everyone knew it was my song so everyone kept blowing up my phone like ‘Yo Go look at Meek’s story!’ I didn’t give a fuck about the tag though… I just screenrecorded it and reposted it. Next day he hit me and he was in Miami already.”
The next part of Tafia’s story is arguably one of the wildest encounters you’ll hear about, and surely deserves to be lived out in a scene on the silver screen one day. Meek pulled up to Miami for a yacht party and extended an invite to the Miami native and his friends.
“We pulled up to the yacht, I think it was a 100 footer, and the DJ was already playing my song and they had it on repeat. I pulled up and he jumped on one of the jetskis and pulled up and he rapped the whole song to me to my face. I was like ‘Oh shit.’
Since linking with Meek he’s locked in on a mission, having delivered a conclusion to his Street Fanci series and a Gangsta Grillz mixtape, but today he’s taking the next step with his debut album Mention My Name. Coming in at fifteen tracks riddled with explosive energy, booming production and gripping lyricism, it’s clear that Tafia is eager to make his dynamic stamp on the game. With features from Vory, Rob49, Jeremih & Young Dolph there’s a lot of heat packed together in this to get you familiar quick and leave you an instant fan of Miami’s Dreamchaser’s representative. Make sure to follow Tafia on socials and give Mention My Name a run through (or a few).