Dave East talks on his "Paranoia" EP, New York renaissance and more, in our exclusive interview.
Dave East is one of the hottest rappers coming out of New York City right now. As he releases Paranoia: A True Story today, through a major label, East will definitely be making even more noise and will be bringing things to another level. We, at HNHH, are definitely fans of him. I mean, if you're a fan of lyricism and storytelling, Dave East is kind of the man for that. Each verse comes with raw story telling and unfiltered emotions. He's an artist that's truly deserving of his position in the rap game.
While we teased our interview with him a few days a go, we're now dropping the whole half hour conversation we had with Dave East and it's nothing short of enticing.
During our conversation with him, he touched on many topics including a his conversations with some legends. It's clear that his music aligns with what traditional hip hop is, in comparison to how it's evolved, and he says that many of his OGs regard him with respect when it comes to his approach to music.
"I feel like with the Nas situation, I mean he done told me that he sees a lot of the same characteristics and a lot of the same ways that he was in me, and I feel like a lot of the dudes from that golden era in the 90’s and early 2000’s hip-hop all feel the same way."
That being said, he's not out here with a specific agenda for New York rap:
"For me it ain’t really about bringing it back," Dave says when asked about NYC hip-hop. "I always said “I ain’t wanna be the dude with the Yankee hat and the Yankee jersey, the Yankee jacket, the Yankee shoes, waving the big New York flag.” I don’t wanna come off like that. You can listen to me, meet me and get around me and know exactly where I’m from. So with that, that’s just me telling my real life story, so that’s how I come off. That’s how I sound. But I’m not really trying to focus on it like “Lemme do this this way. This how Nas and ‘em did it? Lemme do it like that” - nah, I’m not on it like that. I’m just giving my version. I just got a thing for them type of beats, them type of production. That boom bap, that hard stuff."
He also talked to us about the album title Paranoia and how his own demons started haunting him worse once he got out the streets, more than while he was in it.
"My paranoia got worse than before. Before it was only problems with somebody that I knew. I knew who I had a problem with. Now it’s like “Where’s that shit coming from?”" East tells us, "And with me being a father, I feel like it’s my job as a dad and just as Kairi’s protector to make that I get back to her."
He wraps up by breaking down his personal favorites off his own release, and he shares the details of his studio sessions with his collaborators in the process: "I love my record with Jeezy, I love the joint with French. French went global on everybody, so to have him on some New York kinda brought me back to the older French. Harry Fraud is a monster, I been one to work with him anyway. And that’s not no sample so that one’s even crazier. I’m listening to it like “Damn, that ain’t no sample?” Wiz, that was probably the funnest, highest session of my life. We was in LA, that was real fun man, Wiz is real down to Earth. Physically, mentally we both outta here. Real down to Earth, real cool, all his homies mad cool. I had a session in LA and he just pulled up on me regularly. Let him hear the tape, let him hear the joint. I was like “You gotta jump on this, man. I ain’t never heard you like this. On this one, you gotta go back.” Crazy. I ain’t gonna front: everybody came through 130% for me on the features. Nobody just gave me a verse. Everybody gave a fire contribution to the tape."
With Paranoia: A True Story out right now, check out our full half hour conversation with Harlem's Dave East up top.