Dave East’s ‘Straight Outta Harlem’ Interview

DaveEast_SOBs1We’ve heard it time and time again, those worn out and cliché lines about how New York Rap has lost its “essence” or the most famous one, “New York rap is not the same” seem to be brought up in almost every convo relating to the genre.

To keep it blunt, those comments are some of the most monotonous and mundane statements in Rap to date. With New York City ushering new artists in recent years, the days where you pondered if the staple would ever return to its nostalgic sound are over and the new question in people’s minds is, “Who’s next to come out the city?”

Meet Dave East 

This 20-something year old hailing from Harlem, is the new kid on the block and with the buzz he’s been getting as of late, he’s poised for the long run. Co-signed by various Rap greats from Nas to The L.O.X, Dave East is embodying everything old while incorporating the new and some. Dave East paints the picture so vividly with his storytelling and in-depth hard street lyrics and is set to bring listeners into his world, also known as Harlemworld, USA. The Source caught up with Dave East to talk about everything from his upcoming project to who he wouldn’t mind working with in the industry. Check it out below

So first off, your buzz has been getting crazy this past year with the release of your Black Rose project then later in the year your Straight Outta Harlem tape. For the people still not familiar with you or your steady rise, can you give a little background for the readers?

Dave East: Basically, I dropped Black Rose July 2014 and after things started picking up, Nas co-signed and that helped my buzz throughout the year. At the end of the year, I just wanted to do a wrap-up tape of tracks that may have not made Black Rose or stuff I just had been recording throughout the year so I hooked up with Scram Jones and we put out that Straight Outta Harlem tape.

So you just mentioned Nas and it’s no secret other rap notables are feeling your music. How does it feel to get praises from people like Nas to the L.O.X?

Dave East: It feels good. That’s who I listened to when I was young and that’s who I listened to when I was hustling. It lets me know that they respect how I’m carrying it on with my style and lyrics so that’s super dope. They are the reason that I rap the way I rap, so to get love from them is cool.

So since the co-sign from Nas how has life changed? I mean, you’re getting noticed by a lot of people and you’re now the new face of Rocawear Blak. How does it feel getting all these new opportunities?

Dave East: Honestly, I feel like I put myself in the position for people to even notice who I was and it came from what I was doing. Of course, since Nas said my name and associate himself in a way with me, it opened up doors. Honestly, I just feel like all the opportunities that are given came from years of grinding, but definitely the Nas co-sign helped.

So quick question, do you see yourself linking up and making a track with Nas in the near future?

Dave East: Of course. That’s the big homie that will happen sooner rather than later.

Dope. That would be a good collab record when that comes out. So, I’m sure you’ve heard the uninterested words about New York rap and how the quote on quote “essence” of it is gone. With new age rappers out of city like Troy Ave to Joey Bada$$ bringing in their own style while staying true to the original New York sound, who are some other artists out of New York you’re listening to that you feel people should pay attention too? 

Dave East: I f–k with Manolo Rose heavy, that’s my bro. I like Tray Pizzy, Makarel and King Sole out of QueensBridge. I also like Young Lito out of BSB, can’t forget him. As far as new artists, I don’t listen to that many people because I be in my own zone. It’s nothing against them, it’s just I be in such a creative space it’s hard for me to get in tune with em’. The ones I mentioned, I actually have a relationship with them and are actually fans of their music.

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