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I haven't met many people as selfless as Tariq Snare. Tariq is a Brooklyn born drummer that has dedicated his life to performing and teaching the drums all around the world. Like most artists Tariq’s relationship with his craft is personal, however, his story which is one of salvation and collaboration is unique.

Tariq grew up during the birth of Hip Hop, a genre that truly redefined and revolutionized the way that music was and forever has been created. Hip Hop was the culmination of a disenfranchised few collaborating to make an art form that spoke directly to and for their community. The movement started as a party thrown by the legendary DJ Kool Herc and quickly transformed into a collaborative art between MC and DJ. It need be noted that Hip Hop became during the right time and in the right place. The mid to late 70’s and early 80’s in New York were a time of minimal civil control which incubated the climate for such an art to arise. It is doubtful that hip-hop could “have been born in the tightly policed, gentrified, self-congratulatory Big Apple of the ‘90s.” [1] 

Hip Hop’s early success directly correlates to the inclusion the community had with the art form. At the start Hip Hop more closely resembled performance art than a musical genre. It was popularized through b-boying, friendly gang/crew competition, community interaction, and a style of music that had never been heard before. Later on Hip Hop became something of collaboration and fusion. Tariq’s exposure to Hip Hop and its culture created a deep regard for collaboration, and solidified the importance collaboration and the community has on the success of ones music.

Tariq began a formal musical education when he enrolled and was accepted into Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Marking the first time Tariq would venture outside of his Brooklyn community to pursue music.

“I traveled from Brooklyn um, for the first time to go to high school, you know, on the train and everything…to the specialized high school where you have to take a test, and a lot of my friends who were musicians in Brooklyn they didn't get in. So when I got in I had to make a whole group of new musician friends but it was amazing, because you had musicians from the Bronx, from Manhattan, from Queens, from Staten Island, from everywhere you know…” (Snare) 

For some it is difficult to integrate into a different community and create an environment in which they feel welcomed, for Tariq this was not the case. Within the first year of high school Tariq was part of a group called the Five Borough Crew. The Crew and his classmates would travel each weekend to a different part of New York to play, party, and experience different styles of music and culture. Tariq remembers this time as an artistic moment of creative exploration where he could experience different types of music and collaborate with all types of artists.

After high school Tariq enrolled at the Long Island University where he studied both Classical and Jazz drums. During his years in college artists such as Prince began to blow up which further solidified the correlation of success in mainstream music with collaboration and fusion. 

“Prince started getting big at that time and Hip Hop was taking on another you know taking another realm of positive Hip Hop and… you know, uh, fight the power Hip Hop with Public Enemy and stuff and then there was another realm of R & B and Pop with Prince, you know, he was fusing the Rock and the genre of the you know kind of sexy and funky and all that stuff together and that had a lot to do with me too you know so my styles were gelling over the years and just intertwining with R & B, Soul, Hip Hop…” (Snare)

When Tariq graduated from Long Island University his goal was to become a high school music teacher. However, being that there were and still are substantially less positions available in the music department he could only find work teaching language arts and social studies. During the day he taught at high school and at night he would play at gigs all around the city. The more gigs he played the more requests he would receive and at a certain point Tariq no longer had time to teach, “the gigs just started piling up cause my love for music was showing though my hands…” (Snare)

Tariq was primed for success, his style of drumming was a fusion of all sounds and genres that he had experienced, he knew the importance of collaboration. He could jam with any group to any genre at any time, and in his mid 20’s Tariq’s career truly took flight. 

[1] Fricke, Jim, and Charlie Ahearn. Yes Yes Y'all The Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip-Hop's First Decade . Cambridge : Da Capo Press, 2002. Print.