Hip-Hop has changed in so many ways within the last couple of years. From the early records of Run-DMC, to the mid-2000’s Dr. Dre, this genre has introduced us to so many names, that the talent just keeps on growing. Harlem-born David Brewster Jr., who goes by Dave East, is a rapper that’s quickly becoming a staple in new school hip-hop. The name may sound familiar since he released his first mixtape back in 2010, but it wasn’t until he signed onto rapper Nas’ label Mass Appeal Records that he started gaining attention. From then on, he’s collaborated with artists like Trey Songz, Fabolous and Mac Miller.
East is a native of Harlem, New York and spent most of his life there. From a young age, he had a love for basketball, even landing him scholarships in high school, but his real passion was music and decided to pursue his career in it. While releasing several mixtapes throughout the years, and even getting in touch with DJ Ill Will, things really started to take off for the 28-year-old in 2014, when he was introduced to Nas. After dropping his breakthrough mixtape Black Rose, music critics and several artists raved about the project, most likely because of the raw lyricism and East’s rhymes about street life. He immediately got support from big names like DJ Khaled and Wyclef Jean, who both promoted East’s work on their social media outlets.
Dave was always into writing and even wanted to get into film writing at one point. He calls himself an observant and picks up on everything that’s around him. That would explain the lyrics in his songs, rapping about his personal experiences and growing up in a tough neighbourhood. For instance on Black Rose, he talks about his father’s imprisonment and his uncle’s cocaine habit; stories you would only see in movies except for Dave, it was real life.
A year later, Hate Me Now was released and included features by Pusha T, Jadakiss and Styles P. The reason behind the title had a lot to do with the amount of love he was getting from people, but there was also a lot of hate. But that didn’t stop East from following his dreams, telling haters: “Hate me then; do it now ’cause I’ma keep bombing on you!” And that he did; in September of 2016, he signed a deal with Def Jam Recordings, and dropped yet another mixtape, titled Kairi Chanel, naming it after his daughter.
This year is looking up for Dave as he teams up once again with his friend Trey Songz on the song, “93 Unleaded” and continues to collaborate with some of the industry’s biggest names. With only a few U.S. tour dates left, we can only hope he brings his music north of the border in the near future. Dave East is sure to make waves in 2017, as a promising face in this new age of hip-hop.