Photo: Getty
  /  08.25.2022

Every song has a story beyond the writing credits. “ULTRA MAGNETIC” rapper Ta’East has been in enough sessions with hitmakers like Hit-Boy, Travis Scott, and Snoh Aalegra to know that and get on songs we love before some of the biggest artists did.

“Snoh wanted a rapper on her record ‘Home.’ So I went in, wrote a verse, laid it, and went back in. They ended up going with Logic. Maybe because of my delivery,” Ta’East told REVOLT of Snoh Aalegra’s record “Home.”

In this installment of “Studio Sessions,” Ta’East explains how a Hit-Boy session turned into The Firm’s reunion song, talks helping Rodeo-era Travis Scott, and opens up about how his latest project BEYOND THE HALO EFFECT came to be. 

Who was the first artist you were in the studio with that made you feel like you finally made it in the industry?

Probably Hit-Boy. I’ve been in a few sessions with him. We go back. He’s actually from IE (Inland Empire). I’m from Oceanside. I’m close with his boy Kent Money. So I’ve been in many sessions where he just creates something, you just hear it, and you know it’s magic. You know all of this is about to go off. Every time we would do a reference track or something together, it would end up fire. One joint we did was the “Full Circle” song Nas did with The Firm. Originally, it was me, Hit, and Thurz from U-N-I.

When did you find out the song you recorded with him was going to The Firm?

When you all heard it is when I found out (laughs). There wasn’t any conversation, but it’s cool. You have to let the music travel the way it travels. It’s his music, essentially.

You also worked with Travis Scott in the studio back when he was working on Rodeo. How did that link-up happen?

We had the same engineer. I think his assistant engineer was my engineer — Kyle Ross. He was working with Anthony Kilhoffer, who Travis was working with on Rodeo. Kyle ended up linking me with Travis because Travis wanted writers and producers in the studio. He’s exactly who you think he is musically. He’s a savant. I was in the “Don’t Play” session. I’m a pretty laid laid-back guy (laughs). I was just vibing to the beat he was playing. He was vibing, jumping off the walls, and we were bouncing back flows. Then, he gets in my ear and says, “I ain’t playing with, I ain’t playing with.” I told him, “Yeah, that’s hard.” He just vibes with it, goes to lay that down, and then I started helping him with the verse. He takes his shirt off and bounces all over the place. He’s Travis Scott.

Are there any lines from that song that can be credited to you?

A lot of that with Travis was more me helping with the flow and helping him structure what he wants to say. He said something like, “Hand stitched by my dealer.” I was helping him structure the syllables and stuff like that.

Your pen and influence have been felt around the industry for years. Your song “California Christmas” with BJ The Chicago Kid is beautiful. When did you record that?

That was around January 2012. BJ and I linked up through my former manager. She was cool with him and showed him what I was working on. I remember picking him up; he lived off La Brea. We recorded at The Sky Boy Studio, where all the L.A. artists recorded. That was pretty dope. I told him the concept was me wanting something that showed gratitude for everything I have or what you’re looking forward to in life. He automatically clicked with that idea. I had never seen another artist use their voice as an instrument the way he did. He took out all of the percussion, left a little bit of the sample and the drums, and then did that humming melody to fill it in. Seeing him do that was dope. He kind of engineers himself. Then, the way he wrote was like how many artists today record with a lot of punching in.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by CAIRO (@cairomayeson)

Besides that record that went to The Firm, I believe you were also supposed to be on a Snoh Aalegra record, too, right?

Yeah. I ended up linking with Snoh because we had a lot of people in common that we knew in the industry. I ended up kind of sitting with No I.D. for a minute. He was watching me for a while. It was like, you know, “Good to see you here” type energy. So, Snoh wanted a rapper on her record “Home.” I went in there, wrote a verse, laid it, and I think I went back in. They ended up going with Logic for some reason. Maybe it was because of my delivery at the time. I don’t know, but I liked the verse.

I’ve heard Snoh has really collaborative energy. What was she like while putting that record together?

She’s like one of the homies. She has a welcoming energy, very good energy. She’s funny (laughs). She’s really easy to get along with.

What’s the most memorable session you’ve been a part of?

It was probably the Travis Scott session. The sequence of events of everything was wild. N**gas smoked, poured up, and then watched “Law and Order” until 3 a.m. They just put “Law and Order” on in the studio. I don’t know if that’s his favorite show or something (laughs).

What do you need in the studio to make your best music?

I definitely like to smoke because that opens my mind. It slows my thoughts, too. I smoke hybrid. Besides that, just the vibes, man. As long as the drums are on point, I’m good. That’s how I am. I like to ride the drums and then feel it out. I like my music to have weight to it. I can get on anything, especially at this point. I’m testing my pen, too, for this next project. It’s going to be more different types of songs.

You recently released BEYOND THE HALO EFFECT. That’s your first project in six years. What’s the reason for the huge gap between records?

Simply put, I went through a bit of a hard time. I took an L in a lot of ways. I took an L in my personal life, business-wise, everything. So I had to pick things back up. That’s something I’ll be writing about as well. I’m really introspective and conversational with the music. I picked myself back up, though. The pandemic didn’t help. So, that was literally two years right there, where everybody sat down. I’m kind of always making a project. That’s my goal when I do record. When I get into a space of thinking, “Yeah, this is the intro” or I start thinking, “This is about to be number eight or nine” — that’s when I get into the space of trying to figure out the tracklist. That’s when I know I got a project. Then, I’ll start building around that.

How long did it take you to make this album?

I handled a chunk of it because of the pandemic. I took the time to learn how to engineer and mix my music. I’ve always engineered myself as far as vocal engineering, but I had a couple of people help teach me how to engineer. That took a little bit of time because I didn’t have many resources. It took me a few months to get comfortable with it. I had a few of the songs I already did — maybe three records. Then, I tied it up with a couple of new joints. I wanted a way to really conceptualize it and almost reintroduce myself. I wanted to play with the name “Halo Effect.” So, I gave Cairo [Mayeson] that idea, and he started messing with all of the samples and stuff. Overall, it probably took me maybe eight months to do this project.

You also had a fan in the late Virgil Abloh. 

I connected with him through Benji B. I was signed to Benji B’s label via Sony UK, and he’s the [music director of Virgil’s] whole situation. So it was a cool idea to pair us up. We were kind of on the same wave. We had a similar style as far as streetwear/skater vibes. He had great taste; I have great taste. Being around him, I noticed he had calm energy. He was articulate, smart, and poetic.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ta’East (@taeast)

Did he say anything about your music that you remember?

He said he was 1000 percent a fan. He saw what I was doing. I think he understood the type of artist I am and what I provide to the ecosystem.

What do you have coming for the rest of the year?

Singles and more videos. I’ll hopefully be expanding, man. I have plans outside of music. Hopefully, I’ll get into writing other things and stuff like that.



View More



View More


Walmart has everything you need for the tech enthusiast on your shopping list

Check out our gift guide that highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds in time for Black Friday.

  /  11.10.2023

5 things you need to know about the 2023 Billboard Music Awards

“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.

  /  11.20.2023

Walmart's HBCU Black and Unlimited Tour kicks off at Central State University

On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.

  /  11.14.2023

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour visited Mississippi Valley State University

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.

  /  11.22.2023

Walmart has the home essentials for everyone on your holiday shopping list

Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.

  /  11.24.2023

Walmart continues HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour during lively Virginia State University stop

After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.

  /  11.14.2023

Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University

On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

  /  11.15.2023

Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'

Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.

  /  11.15.2023

Pheelz talks expressing himself through music & his biggest inspirations | 'On In 5'

On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!

  /  07.11.2023

Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'

On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!

  /  07.10.2023

Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'

On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.

  /  07.12.2023

BNXN talks leaving IT for music, linking with Wizkid, going viral & new album | 'On In 5'

For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!

  /  08.08.2023

From city lots to lush gardens: The power of urban farming with Karen Washington

This is the inspiring story of Karen Washington, a pioneering urban farmer who has been revolutionizing urban spaces by transforming them into vibrant community gardens and educational hubs. Sponsored by State Farm.

  /  11.17.2023

Investing in stocks in a recession | 'Maconomics'

Host Ross Mac provides useful advice for preparing your personal finances in the event of a recession. He emphasizes the importance of budgeting properly, building an emergency fund, and maintaining discipline when investing.

  /  11.21.2023

Madam DA Fani Willis proclaims, “A lie has been told on African American men”

“Every time I’m in trouble, it’s been Black men that have come to my aid,” Madam DA Fani Willis said at REVOLT WORLD while speaking on the stereotype that they are not dependable or worth dating.

  /  10.11.2023

Lauren London sparks conversation on how Black parents unintentionally give kids negative outlook on money

At the live taping of “Assets Over Liabilities” at REVOLT WORLD, Lauren London opened up about how witnessing the financial decisions adults made during her childhood fueled her outlook on money. 

  /  10.26.2023

Black media leaders stress the space's importance because we're always antagonists in mainstream's storytelling

“I definitely feel those ‘heavier is the crown’ moments. But I also believe that Black entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to be successful in the future,” Detavio Samuels said at AfroTech.

  /  11.03.2023

Machel Montano opens up about life as a child star, new music, and exciting business moves

In an exclusive interview with REVOLT, Machel Montano dove into his musical journey, childhood stardom, and an exciting new chapter in business.

  /  11.03.2023

Halftime Report | Professional athletes who've dropped rap albums

From Master P to Chris Webber, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Deion Sanders, Damian Lillard and more, these athletes got bars. Check out our list here!

  /  11.01.2023

Lauren London says Nipsey Hussle inspired her eldest son’s interest in finances

“I have those conversations with my son about abundance,” Lauren London said at REVOLT WORLD. 

  /  11.06.2023
View More
Revolt - New Episodes