Dave East Digital Cover: Summa 16, Made It To the Big Screen

“Summa ’16, made it to the big screen”

-One Way, Kairi Chanel

“Summa ’16, made it to the big screen”

-One Way, Kairi Chanel

Dave East 2nd image digital cover

Tucked away, behind a brick within the pictorial silhouette of concrete, rapper Dave East dons looks for the days shoot. The New York City streets, often revered as a jungle, it takes some sort of skill to make it out alive; and seldom without some narrative.  A curated playlist featuring DJ Khaled’s – I Got the Keys, Fat Joe & Remy Ma’s – All the Way Up, a basketball, and a blunt create a perfect backdrop for storytime.  

Basketball prospect turnt Emcee, Dave East talks about how the fundamentals of his game on b-ball courts around the city led to his growing recognition inside the hip-hop community, getting signed to masterful Queens rapper Nas; and what the conception of Kairi Chanel came to be to his music and his  life.  That familial feel, reminiscent of something dope, yet refreshing & elaborate aligned with a particular set of mannerisms & etiquette, recognizable from any NYC borough; the East Harlem native quietly emerged onto the scene back in 2010 with the release of his first mixtape Change of Plans – which I can’t help but to infer the title to be a metaphor for his own life, shifting from basketball to music.  Honing his skills with every turn, creating crazy buzz, form and technique, East’s delivery is as gritty as the blocks he vents about within his lyrics.  

After gaining his proper notoriety in the hip-hop circuit, leading to a warranted record deal under rapper Nas’ label Mass Appeal Records in summer of 2014; he picked up steam following the dropping of his seventh mixtape Black Rose that July, to pulling features like Nas – his favorite Queens rapper, Pusha T, Jadakiss, Mack Wilds, and more on Hate Me Now (his eighth mixtape) in 2015.  A sound so distinct, like the grandeur of his city, earned him a spot on XXL’s 2016 “Freshman Class” issue along with nine other new artists. This year I was just like, if it happens, it happens. I’m just going to work and if they not seeing it then I don’t know what else to do, but it’s beautiful. I’m just happy to be here” – XXL.  Alike esteemed rappers from Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, to J. Cole, who have all been featured in the years’ prior freshman classes, East resembles that of a great already.

Dave East 2nd image digital cover

Tucked away, behind a brick within the pictorial silhouette of concrete, rapper Dave East dons looks for the days shoot. The New York City streets, often revered as a jungle, it takes some sort of skill to make it out alive; and seldom without some narrative. A curated playlist featuring DJ Khaled’s – I Got the Keys, Fat Joe & Remy Ma’s – All the Way Up, a basketball, and a blunt create a perfect backdrop for storytime.

Basketball prospect turnt Emcee, Dave East talks about how the fundamentals of his game on b-ball courts around the city led to his growing recognition inside the hip-hop community, getting signed to masterful Queens rapper Nas; and what the conception of Kairi Chanel came to be to his music and his life. That familial feel, reminiscent of something dope, yet refreshing & elaborate aligned with a particular set of mannerisms & etiquette, recognizable from any NYC borough; the East Harlem native quietly emerged onto the scene back in 2010 with the release of his first mixtape Change of Plans – which I can’t help but to infer the title to be a metaphor for his own life, shifting from basketball to music. Honing his skills with every turn, creating crazy buzz, form and technique, East’s delivery is as gritty as the blocks he vents about within his lyrics.

After gaining his proper notoriety in the hip-hop circuit, leading to a warranted record deal under rapper Nas’ label Mass Appeal Records in summer of 2014; he picked up steam following the dropping of his seventh mixtape Black Rose that July, to pulling features like Nas – his favorite Queens rapper, Pusha T, Jadakiss, Mack Wilds, and more on Hate Me Now (eighth mixtape) in 2015. A sound so distinct, like the grandeur of his city, earned him a spot on XXL’s 2016 “Freshman Class” Issue along with nine other new artists. “This year I was just like, if it happens, it happens. I’m just going to work and if they not seeing it then I don’t know what else to do, but it’s beautiful. I’m just happy to be here” – XXL. Alike esteemed rappers from Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, to J. Cole, who have all been featured in the years’ prior freshman classes, East resembles that of a great already.

I’m from the hood so, to be able to be on the ‘Freshman’ cover, to sign with Nas, go to Japan and have my own tour.  That’s like, unheard of where I’m from.  

With the ball in his hand being more than a prop, East bears a confident grip; there is no façade.  On top of all the lessons learned growing up in Harlem, among other things, a basketball court was never too far.  It was his everyday.  Consuming the majority of his early life from a baby into his twenties, he credits his love and talent for the sport as providing the foundation and drive that he has with his music today. Not to mention, having a slight upper hand through his basketball affiliations, coming out of an impressive 2006 graduating class of exceptional players with guys like Kevin Durant.  

I’m from the hood so, to be able to be on the ‘Freshman’ cover, to sign with Nas, go to Japan and have my own tour.  That’s like, unheard of where I’m from.  

With the ball in his hand being more than a prop, East bears a confident grip; there is no façade.  On top of all the lessons learned growing up in Harlem, among other things, a basketball court was never too far.  It was his everyday.  Consuming the majority of his early life from a baby into his twenties, he credits his love and talent for the sport as providing the foundation and drive that he has with his music today. Not to mention, having a slight upper hand through his basketball affiliations, coming out of an impressive 2006 graduating class of exceptional players with guys like Kevin Durant.  

Basketball was dope.  When I was younger, ball was life for everybody.  Everybody I knew was playing basketball or the dudes I was hanging around with.  And once I got in the AU circuit, going down to B-more, that’s all I was doing every summer. It was dope.  That’s how me and KD got cool; and a bunch of different dudes that’s in the NBA today.  I came from playing AU with them, we were all in the same age group.  So I didn’t really have time to hang out.  I was playing in 100 different leagues, or playing in a tournament out of town.  Every park I saw, I was hooping.

I got to travel. I got two free scholarships; my mother didn’t have to pay a dime for school.  It really gave me the foundation and drive that I got with music because I treat music the same way.  I use to have to wake up everyday to go run and lift weights.  There was a schedule for basketball, so I just did the same with music.

Basketball was dope.  When I was younger, ball was life for everybody.  Everybody I knew was playing basketball or the dudes I was hanging around with.  And once I got in the AU circuit, going down to B-more, that’s all I was doing every summer. It was dope.  That’s how me and KD got cool; and a bunch of different dudes that’s in the NBA today.  I came from playing AU with them, we were all in the same age group.  So I didn’t really have time to hang out.  I was playing in 100 different leagues, or playing in a tournament out of town.  Every park I saw, I was hooping.

I got to travel. I got two free scholarships; my mother didn’t have to pay a dime for school.  It really gave me the foundation and drive that I got with music because I treat music the same way.  I use to have to wake up everyday to go run and lift weights.  There was a schedule for basketball, so I just did the same with music.

But even with direction, you can still trail from the course.  After some time spent in a Baltimore City jail on possession charges, East’ basketball career was over.  Losing his scholarship at Towson University, he had to contemplate the promise of a different way up.  But given his circumstance, how would he prevail? – Certainly not behind some desk, punching in & out; dealing with the monotonous of the same daily agenda. Hip-hop being the soundtrack to the streets, the only alternative to basketball where he came from was rapping- a most natural progression. Taking the same practice approach used in his existence as a ‘basketball standout’ with his pen, East applied similar concepts to mastering his rhymes.

But even with direction, you can still trail from the course.  After some time spent in a Baltimore City jail on possession charges, East’ basketball career was over.  Losing his scholarship at Towson University, he had to contemplate the promise of a different way up.  But given his circumstance, how would he prevail? – Certainly not behind some desk, punching in & out; dealing with the monotonous of the same daily agenda. Hip-hop being the soundtrack to the streets, the only alternative to basketball where he came from was rapping- a most natural progression. Taking the same practice approach used in his existence as a ‘basketball standout’ with his pen, East applied similar concepts to mastering his rhymes.

I always was writing rhymes, I always could freestyle, just playing around with it.  I use to know all of Cam’s lyrics word-for-word, Mase; everybody that I was a fan of I knew all their rhymes word-for-word.  So it was just natural for me to do that, and I had people around me telling me, ‘man if you take that serious, it might be something’.  So I just ran with it.

I always was writing rhymes, I always could freestyle, just playing around with it.  I use to know all of Cam’s lyrics word-for-word, Mase; everybody that I was a fan of I knew all their rhymes word-for-word.  So it was just natural for me to do that, and I had people around me telling me, ‘man if you take that serious, it might be something’.  So I just ran with it.

And after changing clothes, East admitted to being content in his current garment.  Not looking back at his history as an athlete as a loss, but a mere stepping-stone to present day conversations.  It’s a daring eye that dances in the face of adversary.  All things leading to this moment, talk of what he could have been only makes for good mechanics and an interesting read.

“Smart kid, bad decisions, should’ve went to Yale.” – Arizona, Hate Me Now

I feel like if it wasn’t for ball, I wouldn’t have the story I got with the music.  Everything happens for a reason.  From the streets to basketball, I just had to translate everything that I do into my music. I know the type of person I am, and I know the focus it takes with a sport.  I got a different focus with music; its like a part of my brain I wasn’t using before – you get what I’m saying.

Looking ahead and beyond the city’s highest skyscrapers, what’s next for Dave East?  These last few months further solidifying his place on the ladder, East has plenty to boast, but his air isn’t boastful.  Though he admittedly confessed to not being the truest Muslim example, through the reads of the creed of which he grew, there is a sensible influence & responsibility.  2016 holding quite a few defining moments in the 28-year-old rappers life with becoming a first time dad in March, XXL in June, and Kairi Chanel- East’ tenth mixtape named after his daughter.  Released the following day of him signing to Def Jam Recordings in September (2016), it went on to receive a steadily growing amount of favorable reviews.  Symbolic to say the least; his rise would come with the birth of first child.  Born on the same day that Biggie Smalls died.  She is the apple of his eye.  

Although it might be a little hard now with all his mounting success and follow to stay humble, the modest rapper kicked off the New Year with another first, a well-deserved purchase of his first home, his joint clothing venture, the DAVE EAST COLLECTION with Rock Beats Paper Brand, nicely churning steam.  And with a plethora of collabs under his belt at this point, from Method Man, Max B, Casanova, Trey Songz; featuring on Ethika underwear company’s RGB mixtape earlier this month with “Rubberband” – his first solo track of 2017, linking up with A$AP Ferg on “Paper Chasin'”, to releasing the visuals for his joint smash with Juelz Santana on “Time Ticking” with Bobby Shmurda and Rowdy Rebel just yesterday, XXL’s Freshmen Class prediction has certainly manifested.  And with more to come, the rest is yet to be told.

And after changing clothes, East admitted to being content in his current garment.  Not looking back at his history as an athlete as a loss, but a mere stepping-stone to present day conversations.  It’s a daring eye that dances in the face of adversary.  All things leading to this moment, talk of what he could have been only makes for good mechanics and an interesting read.

“Smart kid, bad decisions, should’ve went to Yale.” – Arizona, Hate Me Now

I feel like if it wasn’t for ball, I wouldn’t have the story I got with the music.  Everything happens for a reason.  From the streets to basketball, I just had to translate everything that I do into my music. I know the type of person I am, and I know the focus it takes with a sport.  I got a different focus with music; its like a part of my brain I wasn’t using before – you get what I’m saying.

Looking ahead and beyond the city’s highest skyscrapers, what’s next for Dave East?  These last few months further solidifying his place on the ladder, East has plenty to boast, but his air isn’t boastful.  Though he admittedly confessed to not being the truest Muslim example, through the reads of the creed of which he grew, there is a sensible influence & responsibility.  2016 holding quite a few defining moments in the 28-year-old rappers life with becoming a first time dad in March, XXL in June, and Kairi Chanel- East’ tenth mixtape named after his daughter.  Released the following day of him signing to Def Jam Recordings in September (2016), it went on to receive a steadily growing amount of favorable reviews.  Symbolic to say the least; his rise would come with the birth of first child.  Born on the same day that Biggie Smalls died.  She is the apple of his eye.  

Although it might be a little hard now with all his mounting success and follow to stay humble, the modest rapper kicked off the New Year with another first, a well-deserved purchase of his first home, his joint clothing venture, the DAVE EAST COLLECTION with Rock Beats Paper Brand, nicely churning steam.  And with a plethora of collabs under his belt at this point, from Method Man, Max B, Casanova, Trey Songz; featuring on Ethika underwear company’s RGB mixtape earlier this month with “Rubberband” – his first solo track of 2017, linking up with A$AP Ferg on “Paper Chasin'”, to releasing the visuals for his joint smash with Juelz Santana on “Time Ticking” with Bobby Shmurda and Rowdy Rebel just yesterday, XXL’s Freshmen Class prediction has certainly manifested.  And with more to come, the rest is yet to be told.

“I got so much more to talk about, so much more I haven’t said; so much more I haven’t learned even about myself; and they feeling it already.  I’m just starting.”

– Dave East

“I got so much more to talk about, so much more I haven’t said; so much more I haven’t learned even about myself; and they feeling it already.  I’m just starting.”

– Dave East

Check out Dave East’s New Music!

Check out Dave East’s New Music!