Kairi Chanel Review - Dave East
After 2 years of being a fan of Dave East, I expect nothing but good consistent music from this guy by now. Kairi Chanel is exactly that, you can hear his growth just from the Black Rose mixtape, not to mention The Gemini tape, Change of Plans, and the No Regrets tape. The confidence levels have definitely heightened.
Track 1, It Was Written pays homage to Nas’ album off the title alone. He starts it off how everyone is in his ear basically making suggestions on what type of songs he should do. Since the birth of his daughter (who is the reason behind the album title) people have been telling him to stop making “thug records” and set a better example for her. Dave isn’t really trying to hear that though because listening to himself is what has gotten him this far. He gives out his signature flow with bars to match, letting you know shit still isn’t sweet.
Track 2, Type of Time is a somewhat reminiscent song going from being in the streets to where he’s at now. As time has went on he’s pretty much elevated from his old life and has no plans on going back, that lavish life is what he’s about now and he did it all at his own pace.
Track 3, Again off the back comes out being real disrespectful with Dave saying “fuck ya bitch and never talk again.” Right then I knew this wouldn’t be a disappointing song. His flow picks up from the previous 2 songs. The beat is HARD and passed the car test with ease. He mentions his cousin Freaky and if you’ve been a fan as long as I have, you know exactly who he is, RIP. This was more for Harlem dudes and their known cocky attitudes. I’m not mad at it at all though, talk your shit Dave.
Track 4, Can’t Ignore featuring the one and only 2 Chainz aka Duel Necklacez, an unexpected feature I must say. Never hearing these two on a song together, I was eager to see how their chemistry would pan out. They both gave their own unique style on it and I would love to hear more songs from these two in the future. The meaning behind this song is basically Dave East saying it’s impossible for you to ignore him now, from the money to the clothes and the cars.
Fifth track, Sending My Love talks about East’s cousin being incarcerated and how he can’t wait to come home. For anyone with a similar situation, this song will hit home. He mentions all the things his fam used to do and some better decisions he could’ve made. Sevyn Streeter is featured and her soothing voice goes well on this. I noticed the Method Man, You’re All I Need beat being sampled, which is more homage being paid to NY.
Sixth track, 30 Niggaz starts off with a snippet of a conversation talking about that work. The talk was so authentic I felt like I was right there with them surrounded by backwoods and henny. This song goes from bagging up, how hard his life used to be before this rap shit, to being around 30 bottles and with a matching number of women. What stuck out to me the most though was him saying, “no matter who's proud of you, do what you gotta do.” No matter how much praise you get, keep on hustling because enough is never enough,
7th track, Keisha was his first single off of the album. Dave East is one of the best story telling rappers in the game right now. This reminded me of In Some Shit Pt.1 off of Black Rose. He basically was dealing with a “set up b*tch” as some call it. Even without the visual that’s been released for this track, I can still vividly see this entire going down as East paints the picture well with his lyrics.
The 8th track, Eyes On Me begins with a phone call skit about a guy calling East on some bullshit saying his girl was DM’ing him, typical shit. What I love most about this song is that snippet though, it brought back memories of all the hilarious phone call skits Cam’ron used to have on his projects. More homage being paid to New York. Harlem specifically. What I didn’t like about this song and the only complaint I have for this album is Fabolous singing the hook. I beg of you Fab, don’t ever do that again, shit threw the whole song off. The concept of the song was right on the money otherwise.
9th track, S.D.E has none other than Killa Cam to make any Harlem dude to be extremely proud (as if they aren’t already) and shed a thug tear or two. For those living under a rock S.D.E stands for Sports, Drugs, and Entertainment, which is what rap has been about for years, i.e. Master P and Cam’ron. Dave East and Cam each held their own on this and I’m glad they got to finally do a collab. I know there’s more to come from this
10th track, Don Pablo is Dave comparing himself to the notorious Pablo Escobar. If you’re the well dressing type, this is the song for you. Drugs, women, and anything else a drug lord indulges in, is described here. This is a part of my top 3 favorite songs on this project. I can see a great visual being made to this.
The 11th track, The Only Thing is the love song of the album. What love is he talking about? The music and his drug dealing past of course. He’s appreciative of the good and bad that has come into his life and brought him to the point he’s at now. No name for the woman featured in this, but she did a great job on this song, floated even.
Track 12, The Real Is Back features the Philly legend, Beanie Sigel. It’s everything I expected it to be when I saw this on the track list. Nothing but gems from Beans in this one right here. Won’t even speak on this one too much, you’ve got to hear this for yourself.
Track 13, Slow Down features amazing vocals from Jazzy Amra. It’s more of a conscious song, with a street twist on it. This is another top 3 song on the album. It’s calming to an extent, but makes you think about life and how crazy it can be so he’s encouraging everyone that is listening to take your time at it and just simply slow down.
Track 14 is a sad, but a very true song titled Don’t Shoot. With all of the senseless killings going on by the police, all of this needed to be said. East starts it off with an altered voice, like his younger self is the one rapping. As the song goes on he gets older and the voices change, a genius move by him. The ending might make you want to shed a few tears because this has become too many people’s realities.
Track 15, Bad Boy on Death Row features The Game. A clever song title since it’s a NY/LA collab and if you don’t get it then you just need to do ya googles. Dave East and Game trade bars on some tag team shit and it’s a good closing out to the album.
All in all, this is an excellent album and a great follow up to Hate Me Now. Dave East definitely has some longevity in the rap game and this is only the beginning for him. As a fan, I’m genuinely proud of the guy and to see his progress in real time is hella inspiring. For those of you that have never heard a Dave East project in your life, this is a good album to start from.
And congratulations on signing with Def Jam too Dave.