Taijiri & Constance

  • Taijiri & Constance, New Orleans, LA

“My grandmother came to the States first as a seamstress, and then she started bringing everybody over one by one. She has nine children. Some of them have passed away. Some of them are still living. I’m blessed to have my mother to continue to tell me all these good stories.”

Taijiri’s story:

I’m an MC. I go by “Truth Universal.” Most people know me as “Truth.” My family came to the United States looking for a better opportunity. My pops had an opportunity to work as a chef on a cruise ship. This is one of the biggest ports in the U.S. and a lot of cruise ships were coming here, so there was work on cruise ships. His intention was to eventually work at a hotel as a chef and he did that. When he got the job at a hotel, we ended up moving here.

I have an island background. I’m Afro-Caribbean; that’s reflected in my music career. I’m moving in a direction that’s going to showcase that more, as well as the New Orleans background because I’ve been here for a good part of my life. It’s like I have these two rich cultural backgrounds that I want to show. I’m moving in that direction where music will focus on those things more, definitely the Afro-Caribbean aspect.

Constance’s story:

I’m originally from Queens, and I came to New Orleans for school two months before Hurricane Katrina happened. I left for about a semester and then I came back, and I’ve been here ever since.

My people are from Tobago, from Scarborough, Black Rock. My grandmother came to the States first as a seamstress, and then she started bringing everybody over one by one. She has nine children. Some of them have passed away. Some of them are still living. I’m blessed to have my mother to continue to tell me all these good stories. I just stayed here in New Orleans, started off as a volunteer at Ashe, and graduated, and now I work there as well.

My parents passed down a lot of calypso, a lot of steel pan, Mighty Sparrow, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, a lot of Sky. Being born and raised in New York, you get to hear it all. On Sundays, after church, after you eat, you put on the radio and it was Dahved Levy. Dahved Levy always had his whole calypso situation going on. That’s what I listened to.

All of our stories are a part of the American Story. What's Yours?

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