Get Acquainted: Dave East
I'm a firm believer in giving people their just due and credit while they're still here to receive it. Doesn't have to be in light of a special occasion or moments after a tragic event, it could be just because it's a Tuesday. We need to appreciate our legends and embrace the ones on the come up that have bright futures.
Dave East has slowly but surely become one of my favorite rappers. My introduction to him was on his 2014 mixtape Black Rose.
I guess you could say I was 'late' because he had 3 tapes out prior that I wasn't aware of, which speaks to his dedication. Then again, music reaches you when it's suppose to, so can you ever really be late to something timeless?
I feel as though East came at a time where I was thinking "damn I wonder who's gonna be part of the new class in hip hop??" The same sentiment I've had at times watching the NBA and wondering who's gonna lead the next generation the way A.I, Kobe, Jordan, etc. led the one I grew up on. Players like Westbrook, LeBron, Kevin Durant, have all stepped in to answer that question since then. Same difference.
Hate Me Now is one of my favorite projects of the last couple years, easily, front to back; I feel like this is his defining project that will serve as the standard for people to hold him to. From songs like "Forbes List" where he expresses his aspirations along side Nas, to "Momma Working" where he relives the struggle that made him the man he is today; this project is full of substance. If you haven't already, I implore you to get familiar with this absolutely flawless body of work.
The way he carries himself in interviews I've seen and heard, specifically Rap Radar, makes it even easier to root for him. He doesn't talk like a "rapper". What I mean by that is, he doesn't use clichés or give PC answers. He speaks his mind and it's so relatable you feel as though you grew up with him. I personally relate to him in the aspect of losing someone close and having to deal with it daily. He lost a very dear friend, and I lost my big brother.
When he said that every time he eats good food, travel to a nice place, or just want to call him to have a conversation it hurts because he can't; that hit home hard for me because I feel the exact same way. I'll go a step further and tell you now, I cried listening to "I'll Do Anything". The conviction he spoke with and choice of words felt all too familiar for me, and moments like that mean a lot to me when I think about ranking artists in my book.
He has a way of accurately verbalizing certain feelings that may be hard for the average person to put in words. I feel as though this is one of his strongest assets, and what took me from "I like this music" to "I love this artist". It's the little things that matter with me, and he seems very detailed in the way he presents himself in and out of the booth.
Aside from the music, he has great mentors by his side like Nas and my guy Wayno; with a team like that and this level of quality in his music, Dave East can be 1st Team All-Hip Hop for as long as he chooses to suit up in this game. I don't believe we've heard the best from him just yet because the future is so bright you have to know he'll continue to raise the bar, and the bars. I appreciate his presence in rap and look forward to seeing him progress.