Isaiah Rashad: “I meet Dave Free last March through one of my friends, Tunji. I was in L.A. doing some other shit, having meetings with people. We went to eat and Tunji introduced me to Dave. I was high, I had been smoking all day, I thought Dave was Big Sean when I met him. After I realized who he was, I got really nervous. My opinion of who Dave was at the time was on some other shit. I was like, ‘Damn, that’s Dave Free, fuck.’
“I went to the bathroom, got myself together like, ‘Alright, I’m about to have this conversation. I’ma steer this conversation a certain way.’ I stopped being nervous. So we started talking. He was asking me about what was going on and how I felt being out there. Tunji let him listen to my music.
Getting signed to TDE is like I got accepted into the college I really wanted to be in. Except they didn’t have all of those bogus ass classes.
“I left L.A. that night and Dave called me three days later. He told me he was going to get me out there. I hassled him for like three days after that like, ‘You really going to get me out there?’ Eventually he brought me out there and I got signed. I had a son on the way so it felt like a blessing. I felt like God really swooped in. I was falling and it felt like cushion under the fall.
“When I was in college all I listened to was Schoolboy Q’s Setbacks. Then I hear ‘The Heart Pt. 2’ and I really got into that. Even though I was listening to Q, I hadn’t got invested enough to listen to everybody else. Then I realized that he is the same dude I heard on a hook of a Jay Rock song from when I was like in high school. I heard Ab-Soul, so I started fucking with all of them. It all connected. These niggas were role models to how I wanted to make music. I feel like it might be predestined.
“Getting signed to TDE is like I got accepted into the college I really wanted to be in. Except they didn’t have all of those bogus ass classes. Ain’t got to take a math class to graduate and shit. But, I will need an accountant if I do this shit the right way. Hopefully, I will need that type of math class. Other than that, I got Punch [TDE president Terrence "Punch" Henderson] as a professor.”