“I wake up and get to the bread, y’all n****s wake up and stick to the bed” opens Ta’East’s‘WithTheShit’, a motivational ode to realness delivered over a sample of Mica Levi’s ‘Under The Skin’ score. Released online in September last year, for many the track was a first taste of the unique approach to hip-hop that’s been honed by the Kentucky-born, San Diego raised rapper and his go-to producer Cairo Mayeson across a pair of free mixtapes. “I think everyone feels like that, or has felt like that at one time in their life,” he says, considering why the track made such a profound connection. “It hits you right on the head.” The song was premiered by Virgil Abloh, who spun it on a KNOW WAVE radio broadcast, and received regular plays from Benji B on his Radio 1 show - securing two fans who would become vital players in the development of his career.
A small town upbringing in Oceanside, California and Summer’s spent in Kentucky allowed Ta to cultivate a unique style without the influence of peers and a local scene. During long hours working in the mail room at the Screen Acting Guild, where he would process checks for actors and actresses, Ta absorbed the words of self-help gurus Wayne Dyer and Tony Robbins through his headphones. He’d utilise his time at work by making notes that he’d later use to combat his own stress and anxiety, then hit the studio as soon as he clocked off. This motivation has spilled over into his lyrics which he describes as “a collection of mantras.” “I didn’t want to work a nine to five,” he declares. “It was misplaced energy. I took that energy and put it into the music. It was motivating at the end of the day.”