The classic West Coast hip-hop style strikes in the Midwest as Comandante climbs to the top of the music game.

As a hip-hop artist who has moved from Fresno to Oakland and now Des Moines, Iowa, 18-year-old Marcos Flores has just started experiencing the ups and downs of the hip-hop industry. Growing up on conscious hip-hop artists such as Tupac, The Wu-Tang Clan and N.W.A., Flores — who performs under the pseudonym “Comandante” — developed the desire to put his own voice, style and message into his music.

There’s no shortage of aspiring rappers on the Coasts, so Flores finds there is less of a struggle to prove himself in the Midwest. In Des Moines, Marcos also has more opportunity to perform and record music, helping him forge his own original hip-hop identity: Comandante. Marcos plans to take over the Midwest hip-hop game and spread his message from coast to coast.