How Teen Bootcamp Led Taro to His Latest Project, “First Born Son”

Hip-hop artist Taro performed his first gig in front of 3,200 people at the Holi Festival of Colors in Brooklyn. Everyone in the audience was covered head to toe in brightly colored paint and it was the first time the rapper had ever used a mic on-stage. He was backed by a ten piece band.

He tore down the house.

He laughs a little when he recalls the absurdity of the situation. “It was a long road to make it to that point,” He tells me.

When he was 15, Taro was expelled from school and sent to a wilderness program in Utah as punishment. From there he was sent to a disciplinary boarding school in Virginia, where he would undergo intensive therapy every day for eighteen months. But for what exactly? “Skipping too much class and getting into trouble with truancy officers,” he explains.

Today, he doesn’t hold a grudge about the harsh punishment he endured; he actually credits it for pushing him into hip-hop. After all these years of therapy he’s comfortable opening up about his feelings.

Just listen to his latest track, “First Born Son/The Price of Love,” and you’ll hear the raw emotion.

“I didn’t have an identity for awhile,” he explains. “I was repressed, depressed. Then I started focusing my energy on music.”

After just one year he is gearing up to release his debut project, First Born Son, on January 27.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been able to put something together that I’ve been so proud of,” he says. “I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve had from the community.”

Check out the visuals of his two-part single "First Born Son/Price of Love" here.

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