DALLAS — There is a six-year age difference between the two, and they were raised in different parts of Texas, two cities that are separated by roughly 334 miles.
Robert Michael Narbaez is a 32-year-old native of Lubbock.
Zachery Garcia, on the other hand, is a 26-year-old native of Grand Prairie.
Ironically, both have been virtually inseparable since the inception of their friendship some four years ago.
“Sertified and I have been doing our thing together for four years,” Narbaez, during a recent interview with longtime journalist, said of Garcia, alluding to his fellow entertainer’s stage name.
Conversely, Narbaez has adopted the stage name, “TRS,” which stands for “The Real Scarface.”
Having attracted a rather sizeable and respectable audience in Dallas/Fort-Worth and other parts of the Lone Star state, both entertainers are widely known in the ever-so-competitive rap industry as The Young Fly Latinos.
For Narbaez and Garcia, both were raised in contrasting upbringings, of sorts, yet they grew up clinging to lofty aspirations of someday making names for themselves in the music industry.
Given how they’ve managed to persevere and steadfastly fend off critics and naysayers and a slew of distractions, it seems this dynamic hip hop rapping duo is destined to be thrust upon this ever-so-popular industry’s grandest of stages.
Heck, they’d be the first to tell you they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Born to Robert Narbaez and Hope Lopez, Narbaez is the oldest of five siblings (all boys).
Having described his upbringing as mostly “non-religious,” coupled with the fact that his parents both did not graduate high school, Narbaez — who earned his high school diploma six months early — still acquired a majority of his music knowledge from his father, who played bass in a predominantly black jazz band and later for multiple tejano bands.
In fact, his immense music and acting skills ultimately won him a number of acting awards in extra-curricular classes and in talent shows.
Interesting enough, Narbaez also played trumpet, baritone, and bass for his school’s jazz band and, to his credit, he once opened up for renowned entertainers Slim Thug, Twista, Paul Wall, Kirko Bangz, Z-ro and Bun B.
Talk about making much progress in such a short timeframe in the industry.
“In 2014, I was at the Dub Car Show, selling CD’s when Baby Bash was walking through the area I was at,” Narbaez recalls. “Everyone was taking pictures with him. He then sat in a car and rolled down the window. I looked in that direction and we made eye contact. He told me, ‘What’s up?’ like he knew who I was. A year before, that I had met him at a car show and gave him my CD. So it was his way of showing respect for me. I realized that all my grind was paying off.”
As for Garcia who, along with his mother, were forced out of their apartment and settled for residing in a women’s shelters until his mother was stable enough to move to another place, his upbringing, like Nabaez, was just as challenging, considering there were times he had spent hanging out in the streets until the wee hours of the mornings, sometimes as late as 3 a.m.
By the age of 13, he was virtually forced to grow up much faster after having moved out of his parents’ home and with his then-16-year-old girlfriend, who is now his wife.
“(We were) not a religious household,” said Garcia, “unless I was with my grandma. My family never supported my music views, but I did have plenty of friends I would show music to and school me. I was always told I had something. I like to think I have a great ear for music, but I’m always open to other people’s opinions.”
Today, unlike never before, The Young Fly Latinos are making a solid case that not only are they destined to become fixtures throughout the local rapping landscape, but they sense the time has come that the rest of the nation discover who they are.
Much sooner than later, that is.
“Get it by any means, but be smart about it,” said Garcia, reciting his personal motto for which he applies to his daily living.” “And ‘Leave ’em guessing.’ Never let them know your plans.”
Meanwhile, Narbaez’s personal rallying cry is more direct.
“Live to Love, Love to Live,” Narbaez said.
All things considered, both Narbaez and Garcia know full well their best and brightest days are well ahead of them. However, the well-publicized progress they’ve made over the past four years have inspired them mightily.
In other words, the hip hop universe might wanna get to these four words: The Young Fly Latinos.
Especially since they are on the brink of releasing a mix tape called “New Dirty South” and a self-titled album called, “The Young Fly Latinos.”
“I wouldn’t call it a comeback, because even though our fan base has grown we haven’t reached our full potential,” Narbaez said. “We’re still on the come up.”
Luckily for them, ‘Dirty Dirty Dallas’ has already taken notice.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.