A Jamestown hip-hop artist said he found his voice through the music that moved him right here on the prairie.
Tyler Elsner, aka Dopy T, said his older brother's albums opened his eyes to a whole new world. He was drawn to Snoop Dog, Eminem, 50 Cent and other artists, and the beats and the word play just became a part of him, he said.
"I fell in love with making music at the age of 12," Elsner said. "I started making hip-hop music at the age of 14."
The music came naturally and was based on his own experiences, he said. Working with other performers helped reinforce his identity and his music, he said.
Elsner's rap name, Dopy T, actually came from his mother, he said.
"She would always call me Dopey, like as in the dwarf from Snow White," Elsner said. "I use to call myself Lil T, but I wanted something more original so I started calling myself Dopy T."
As a teenager, hip-hop was a way to cope with emotions and express himself. Once he knew how songs were constructed his imagination turned to writing and performing his own work.
He enjoys working as a solo performing artist. His form is either hip-hop or rap.
After graduating from Jamestown High School, Elsner said he started performing more and started to meet other performers, fans and people in the music business. After turning 21 he could start playing the clubs and other restricted venues which led to touring, he said.
"When you're under 21 it's harder to find places to perform," Elsner said.
Now age 25, Elsner has been on two national tours along with starting his own label, Committed Minds ENT. Fellow artists Noah Erickson and Dustin Fidge are also on the label.
One of his most recent tours had stops in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington State and Utah.
"Music has definitely opened a lot of doors for me," Elsner said.
Elsner has also opened for other rappers, including Bubba Sparxxx, a hip-hop artist from Georgia, and Struggle Jennings, the grandson of the late country artist Waylon Jennings.
Elsner's latest release, "Death Of Me," features Noah, another notable rapper who helped write the song.
"He wrote a verse and recorded it," Elsner said. "I wrote the hook and another verse to record that."
Elsner's music can be found online under the Dopy T or the Committed Minds ENT keyword at Amazon, ITunes, Google Play and other platforms. His songs can also be heard on Spotify and his videos can be seen on YouTube.
Elsner works for his father now as he continues to pursue a music career. He organized a music event in August 2018 at the Knights of Columbus Hall and said the lack of live music events in Jamestown is still frustrating, he said.
"I am trying to change that," he said.