I was going to interview Ta'East at the whirlwind that was ComplexCon 2016. The Kentucky-born, San Diego-raised, and L.A.-based rapper was there to perform with Virgil Abloh on the Pigeons & Planes stage, but after talking with him for a while, it was clear something more in-depth was necessary.

Ta'East first caught our attention in 2015 with the horror movie strings and fiery rapping of "WithTheShit," and he took his time to make sure his debut EP Okay, I'm Ready was a true reflection of his ambition as an artist before releasing it in December of 2016. Okay, I'm Ready, produced by close friend and collaborator Cairo Meyerson, shows off the kind of versatility that should translate well into a debut album—Ta'East can go in and flex over booming production or slow things down and get reflective over more traditional hip-hop beats.

Cosigned by heavy hitters like Virgil, Benji B, and No I.D., Ta'East enters 2017 with momentum on his side. We headed down to Oceanside, California, near San Diego, to see where it all began and talk about what's next for the rising star.