Ta'East, hip-hop's freshest new voice, has been making a name for himself in the underground scene for quite some time. With the release of 2012's The Popular Stranger and 2013's Sonata, he played along as the underdog while working with some of the biggest names the industry has to offer (Travis Scott, Hit Boy, and B.J. The Chicago Kid to name a few!), but things are different this time. Ta'East is older and ready to leave his mark now more than ever with his latest EP, Okay, I'm Ready.
Born in Kentucky, but raised in Oceanside, California, it wasn't always easy for the rapper who worked a nine-to-five job while simultaneously working on his music. He quit his job and was later evicted, but his struggle serves as the inspiration for his sound.
"At one point, I was just broke. I would look at my account and I would have $13 to my name, and I wouldn’t get paid until next Wednesday," he says. "That’s why I think I sound so aggressive in my music. That comes from a place of frustration—being an underdog, getting out of that valley, and climbing to the top.”
Now is his time to step into the spotlight and with Okay, I'm Ready, and if one thing is clear, it's that there's no stopping Ta'East. “People are like, you never gave up,” he says. “You have to understand, I come from nothing. And I think by showing face, if I open my mouth and tell you my story, you’re going to look at me, and be like ‘I can do that.’ The same way I looked at Hov and thought, ‘I can do that too.'"
Stream the whole EP and read the breakdown for each track, below.
"Go Off" was originally a reference [that] Hit Boy, Cairo, and myself worked on to shop to a few artists. I had the idea for the hook so we went in writing verses for it. It didn't end up getting placed with anyone so we revisited the beat as I was working on Okay, I'm Ready. I tweaked the hook a little and wrote new verses that catered to the way I was feeling at the time. I wanted to do something that paid homage to the influence The Notorious B.I.G. had on me while showcasing the artist I've become today. Since the drums had such a gritty feel, we went back and dirtied the track up even more with some distortion on my vocals. We wanted it to feel like I was rapping over a two-track to give you a raw, nostalgic feel. The second half of "Go Off" actually came while wrapping the EP. I had a lot of things on my mind that I wanted to put down at the time, so one day Cairo hopped in the car and told me he had just made the beat in 15 minutes, played it for me, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.