MITMonday: Dave East brings the grit back to New York rap with Paranoia
Last Friday, there was a lot of music that dropped. From Kodak to Ferg and even Peewee Longway, but Dave East's EP Paranoia was the one that stood out to me the most. For those who don't know, Dave East is a rapper from East Harlem who has bars. Paranoia is Dave's major label debut with Def Jam. I first heard of Dave East last year when he dropped Kari Channel. After hearing Kairi Channel, especially Kiesha, I instantly became a fan. In my opinion he was the best artist outside of Anderson .Paak on the 2016 XXL Freshman cover. Paranoia is definitely a solid major label debut that will keep you coming back for more.
First off the cover art is dope. It looks like Dave is just sitting there in deep thought thinking about how he is going to bar us up. With that being said, throughout the album Dave East gave us bars and there wasn't a song lacking them. I really enjoyed the fact that it was such a gritty album. From the production to the bars, you felt the struggle Dave East endured. On the track Hate, East's words embodied the struggle, "Could still smell the aroma from when my uncle would cook crack" and "8 niggas in a 2 bedroom apartment. No lights up in the crib I guess I came up out the darkness." Since we talking about Hate this my favorite track on the album. What was the most impressive about this was the Nas cosign. If you were like me when you saw the "featuring Nas"you got a little excited (aaight maybe a little more than a little excited... it's Nas). Dave showed us he could hold his own and by the end of the song you wasn't even mad about Nas not having a verse.
Another aspect I enjoyed of this album were the skits. The first skit was hated and it was something that most can relate to. The setting is Harlem and Dave East pulls up and a group of guys start rapping him up about how dope he is and all that good stuff. As soon as he pulls off they definitely not keeping the same energy. Saying he ain't even that good and somehow started talking about how if he don't put his man on then he's whack. Another skit that was dope to me was Kairi Speaks. It was very simple but impactful, the whole skit was just Dave interacting with his daughter and it was important because it lightens the mood of the album.
This album was definitely a solid major label debut that showcased Dave's ability to paint a picture with words. He is undeniably one of the best storytellers in the game right now and it was evident in this album. Dave East is slowly working his way on to my favorites list and this album has earned its spot in my rotation. As Always...