Dave East How Did I Get Here Zip
Dave East How Did I Get Here Zip – Harlem’s Dave East on What’s Missing in New York Rap Today: ‘Nobody’s Really Painting Their Lives’
Following the release of his debut album Survival, we talk to Dave East about Nas, Jay-Z and bringing hip-hop home to New York City.
Dave East How Did I Get Here Zip
Once the mecca of hip-hop, New York has struggled to regain its once global dominance as it continues to compete with the Southern sound that is sweeping the airwaves today. Since the mid-2000s era of 50 Cent and G-Unit, Big Apple acts like Dip Set and D-Block haven’t been considered at the forefront of rap. But things seem to be about to change…
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Fronted by Pop Smoke, Cardi B, Cassanova and Shady Records’ Griselda Band, the rebellion helped bring eyes and ears back to the concrete jungle streets, stopping Onyx, Wu-Tang Clan, Jay-Z, Nas, DMX and Biggie.
Another artist who contributed to this new wave is Harlem rapper Dave East. A former pro basketball player, East’s dream of joining his friend Kevin Durant in the NBA was dashed after a meeting with his college coach saw him cut from the team. Things got worse: after being involved in some illegal activities, the then semi-rapper was caught and imprisoned for six months.
After his release, East shifted his focus to rapping full-time. He released his debut mixtape in 2010, titled Change of Plans, and after years of work, he caught the attention of Nas. Nas, who met through Jungle, the younger brother of the “Illmatic” rapper, signed with East for his Mass Appeal imprint before landing a deal with legendary rap label Def Jam. The rest, as they say, is history.
He spoke with East about his November 2019 debut album, Survival — the death of his friend and fellow rapper Nipsey Hussle — and the Jay-Z verse he’s stuck with.
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Even though your new album tells the story of your survival, it feels like you’re fighting for the survival of New York hip-hop. Was there anything you had in mind while making it?
It’s happening in New York and I don’t think anything is missing right now. There is no one to describe his life. All the people I grew up with, they made that kind of music. Nas, Jay[-Z], Cam[‘ron], they all brought you into their world.
You’ve been releasing music for almost 10 years, but Survival is considered your official debut album. Why did it take so long?
“People are used to me dropping album-quality projects. I feel like Kairi Chanel, Hate Me Now, Paranoia, all those tapes were like albums. So when I mentioned the album, it surprised a lot of people. I hadn’t given up on the project for almost a year and had the full support of Def Jam in marketing and producing the album, so I felt the time was right.
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The album debuted at number 11 on Billboard in its first week, but before that could be confirmed, an unconfirmed source claimed that it had only sold 3,000 copies and that your label was considering dropping you. Where is he from?
“You know the Internet, right? Right now, anyone who posts that “Dave East is gay” goes viral. I was asked, “Are you gay?” there were those who asked. So everything they say on the internet seems to make you think. I was waiting for Billboard. After talking to Billboard, it’s official.
Biggie once rapped, “Cause the streets are a quick stop / You throw a rock or you got a bad jump.” If you’ve grown up on the streets, you’ve always had the idea that you only have three ways to get out of it: play basketball, sell drugs, or rap. You did all three but chose to rap. Why, especially since you’re good at basketball?
“I think rap was the only logical choice. Shooting will get you robbed, killed or arrested. My problem with football was with authority, coaches and others.
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“Rap is my personal boss. I control myself, I control what I do, when I go to the studio, I control what I want to talk about. This is me. I smoke all day if I want, I drink all day if I want. I keep track of my progress and what I’m doing. So it was the best for me and I think it was a legitimate fuss. I traveled all over the world, I brought my friends with me, my mother doesn’t work, my father is on vacation, my daughter doesn’t want anything. It’s all because of rap.”
Throughout the history of rap, many MCs have spoken about being raised in a single-parent home, and usually without a father. However, with the likes of you, Game, Fabolous and Eminem now proudly talking about being there for your kids, it seems things are changing. Is this something you’ve noticed?
“Yeah, it’s a cool thing now. We make it fun. You should be there for your son, it’s kind of you. I just love that the tradition, or as you say, is starting to fade away. Especially when it comes to black people, you know, the general attitude of black men and how they deal with their kids, that’s not me. My daughter is 100% of my life, and I am 100% of her life.
On “Survival,” you have a track called “The Marathon Continues,” which is a tribute to Nipsey Hussle. It is obvious that you are very close. How did you meet?
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“Through one of my best friends in Los Angeles, she’s like my mother in the hood, Mama Red. He had known Nip forever, like when he called himself Lil Lightning.
“We were involved with street idiocy. The gang I was in was a block away from the gang he came from. He knew who I was, I knew who he was, and then we started making music. We started calling each other and making videos and stuff like that. When I was in Los Angeles, he wouldn’t be there, but he would send me weed, he would send me guns, and whatever I needed, he would send me.
Down the road, you mention that you and Nipsey were going to do a joint project. When did this happen – or was it just an argument?
“A few people have asked me, and I honestly don’t know. Do you know why? Because everything is not the same without it. We can’t make a video for the songs we make, and I can’t go along with it and promote it, so it’s not the same. If I had to do it, it would be for her kids or whatever. I would take all the proceeds from the album and give it to Emani, Cross and Lauren.”
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You also mentioned on the track that it made you proud to tell the world you were a Crip. Was there anything you weren’t proud of before?
“No, you just don’t want to target … Labels: ‘Is that going to be a problem?’ Should we save him? Will he be killed? I always stood up, but then I saw Nipsey moving in the same way she had been, and I said, ‘What! Are they letting us in here? Are they letting us into these buildings now? Do they send us to these offices and meetings? do you say?’
“At first I had people telling me, ‘Yeah, don’t push too hard.’ “Why not bro?” Why me? Why not if it doesn’t hurt what I’m doing?’ I thought. I still have the same deals, and I’m still sitting in all these meetings with people. But they respect my point, it’s not about not talking to the group. They seem to respect what I have to say and what I can bring to the table. “
“Tim is a dangerous man! The bad thing about Tim was that we had like eight records that day… Jay-Z was on the first beat that Timbaland played for me, so I was going to use that and add Nas for the album, but it didn’t work. at the same time. »
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“I can’t say it. I do not know. But the first record I did with Timbaland had a Jay-Z verse.”
We can’t end our interview without talking about Nas, including your collaboration with The Godfather 4. The track appears in your album, but you have more tracks. Was this originally supposed to be his record?
“I saw him recording at Mass Appeal Studios in Manhattan: playing Green Lantern and killing it! It was Nas, his engineer and Jungle. He spat only 12 lines
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