For the past 15 years New York City hip hop has been looking for its next star of sorts. The fire of new artists like Saigon, Papoose, Stack Bundles and Max B were put out by label politics, legal woes and gun violence. Since 50 Cent made his national debut with ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, there have been no other LEGIT stars to emerge from New York specifically, and in general the east coast. The quintessential makings of an MC has more or less passed 2-3 generations of artists. The only stars that have broke on the east have been the heavily H-Town influenced A$AP Rocky, and Philly native Meek Mill who has a style that isn’t region specific.
If I had to put my money on an artist to bring the spotlight back on New York City hip hop, Dave Ea$t gets my vote. Not only does he have the lyrical ability to describe the gritty streets of East Harlem with a 90s-nostalgia, he also has the ability to create a sound that incorporates the scenery of modern day NYC. There was a time when “project hallway rap” reigned, the golden era of the mid 90s produced classics from artists like NaS, Mobb Deep, Boot Camp Click and Wu-Tang Clan.
The level of lyricism remained at a high standard as DMX, Cam’ron, and Big Pun dropped their debut albums, but the production was taking on more of a universal sound, appealing to those throughout the country. I credit Notorious BIG’s ‘Life After Death’ as a ‘blueprint’ of sorts that laid the groundwork for survival in a multi regional hip hop world, while still exhibiting supreme lyrical talents and melodies with true playback value.“For all of those thinkin’ my city fell off, I can change it RIGHT NOW”
Ea$t continues on the path, taking the torch, and ready to lead the way for New York. When news broke late last year that he had inked a deal with Mass Appeal, with a cosign from some of the greatest MCs, the question became ‘who is Dave Ea$t?’ Not wasting anytime he released the mixtape, ‘Straight Outta Harlem’, parallel parking on a wide range of beats. Displaying a variety of not only subject matter, but experimenting with different flows. Whether it’s a Scram Jones production, classic Big Daddy Kane, “Warm It Up”, and hits like “Chiraq”, “Hot Nigga” and “0 To 100”, he lyrically Bob’s and weaves on the track.
While we await his debut album, his most recent offerings, have maintained the standards of quality music he has established throughout his catalog of mixtapes. “No Coachella For Me” is the hoods answer to the California music festival. Made for those more concerned with figuring out which bill gets paid first, than what sundress your girl wears or which pair of cut off shorts you’re rocking. Ea$t displays a knack for capturing common pain and personifying it, while still remaining entertaining. Classic East Coast pianos with a down south influenced baseline also serves as the backdrop for “Double Up” (Feat. Nino Man), if these are any indication of what’s to come, the question of ‘Who Is Dave Ea$t?’ can be answered by simply two words, ‘The Future’.