As a Harlem native, Dave East has often spoke about keeping the traditions of New York rap alive, and in the process, he's worked with some legendary artists from the region. On Paranoia 2, East's new project released Friday, he works with a range of artists, but "Violent," a collaboration with G-Unit's Lloyd Banks feels the most symbolic. Moreso than 50, the Queens-based Banks feels like a stylistic predecessor to East. While he also had an underrated ability to write hooks, Banks was mainly known for his punchlines and wordplay.
His uncompromising dedication to straight-ahead bars is not unlike East's, and on "Violent," both emcees sound like they're trying to impress each other with unrelenting bars. In his verse, East once again references those from New York who laid the foundation for what he's now able to do ("I can't even count the diamonds in the Rollie face / Supreme clientele, I feel like Ghost and Rae"). Meanwhile, Banks lives up to his reputation for clever couplets ("Rocks to light me up, 18 years old last time my neck been warm / You a enemy don't type me, I prolly' got a Tec message for him").
Pushin' like it started all over again
That's what excellence is
Killin' shit's an extra sentence
Leave here with the rest incentive
Holdin' up the neighborhood
Knowin' the Hall of Fame is waitin'
Fuck your thoughts
I worked hard to get it
Under my favorite bracelet
Could have been in the race but you fallin'
That ball and chain arrangement
N***as do anything to shine
Runnin' out of amazement