Sitting against the mirror with his hat backwards, donning a red, white and black tracksuit, Dave East is at ease. It’s been a massive couple of years for the East Harlem rapper. After dropping his Hate Me Now mixtape to serious acclaim, he returned with Kairi Chanel, and then Paranoia: A True Story.
His latest work has seen him strike new bounds and push his artistic ability to an entirely new level. Now fans eagerly anticipate Paranoia 2 which is said to be dropping in one month. “Y'all the first people I'm telling this to,” he says, “Paranoia 2 on the way. Before Halloween I'mma come with Paranoia 2 and then it's album time, my real debut, end of the year - top of the year. But yeah, Paranoia 2 on the way.”
A silky blend of old school and new school sounds, Dave East is a unique hustler in today’s industry. His music carefully weaves clever lyricism over intrepid beats that induce serious movement. What comes out is a creation that can be compared to some of hip-hop history’s greats as well as today’s young innovators.
"I grew up on all the older dudes,” he says, “the old heads or whatever you call it. Jay-Z, Nas, Snoop, Biggie, Jadakiss. I don't feel like what me and 21 Savage do is the same thing, it's rap but it's different tempos to it, me and Uzi do different shit. I'm more into lyricism. My focus never was the club.”
However, despite being a fan of lyrically intrinsic hip-hop he also collaborates with the giants of the present, learning often and catapulting his own musicianship to higher heights.
"Me and Drake linked in Miami, we been chopping it up ever since, he really a genuine dude and we got some music on the way. I was about to come to OVO Fest this year, Drake knows ways to get me in the country (Canada). I feel like Drake one of the best rappers in this sh*t, I wanna see how he rap with me on the joint. He can rap, a lotta people can't rap, a lotta people not gonna make you rewind them, but you gonna rewind Drake.”
Undoubtedly, if you listen to Dave East, he’s someone you’re going to rewind as well.