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Rapper Dave East Talks Being in Prison, Becoming a Muslim & Bringing Back Album Skits

By JaVonni Brustow / Published on Monday, 11 Dec 2017 11:41 AM / No Comments

Dave East has come on the scene like a wrecking ball in 2014 with his mixtape Black Rose before getting signed to Nas’ label. He’s since moved on to Def Jam and just released his debut EP under their label this summer, only after over a handful of mixtapes proving perseverance always works out in the end. He recently sat down with Rolling Stone during his current press tour promoting his EP Paranoia: A True Story. The Harlem born rapper says he’s predicting “You’re going to hear a lot more artists that are actually rapping, that’s actually focused on their lyrics, from New York City.” This only makes sense considering Nas just named Nicki Minaj the queen of New York so clearly plenty of people are going to be coming for that crown.

South Florida rapper and DJ Greyson Jubilee said that he saw Dave at Art Basel in Miami this past weekend. “[He’s] Definitely a talented dude. Good music to vibe, smoke and chill to. A lot if his songs make me feel like it’s 1997, when hip hop was a weapon that only the chosen could wield. I’d def like to work with him. He’s hungry and he hustles. Gotta respect that.”

He’s been working on becoming a more rounded celebrity as he just made an appearance on Being Mary Jane, polishing his acting chops next to Gabrielle Union. He’s also done something we haven’t seen in hip hop in quite some time which is bring back the album skits we all loved… the Kelly Price/ Ron Isley/ R Kelly magic popularized in the 90s. “Nobody uses skits at all anymore, so it seems like I use a lot,” mentioning that Paranoia is a themed project and not just put together hopeful singles and demos. “That’s how I grew up on tapes. Biggie tapes, Biggie albums would have skits. The Lox would have skits. Mase would have skits. All the dudes I grew up on in Nineties rap would have skits on their projects, just to make you feel like you were right there with them.”

Dave has a story to tell. If he hadn’t made it as a rapper he had strong chances in becoming a basketball star as he’s played with Kevin Durant and Ty Lawson before the two made it big during the AAU tournaments he excelled at in high school in Maryland. Sadly he started “running around in the streets” after spending time at the University of Richmond and Towson University. It lead to 6 months of prison for him. It was at that point he says he was able to turn his life around by joining Islam. “It’s a balance. Nobody’s perfect,” he says. “When I’m out of town, I always try to get some readings or some type of new information to where I’m learning more about Islam, just to become the best Muslim I can become.”

“Growing up in Harlem, growing up in Queens, living in Baltimore, being locked up, going to college, playing ball, trying to sell weed, then trying to rap. I’ve just been through a lot in 29 years, so I got a lot to talk about,” he says. “I always tell people, I never get writer’s block because it’s coming straight from my brain, like, real-life experiences. I’m like the news. I’m just reporting it for myself.”

Rumor has it he’s already close to releasing the follow up to Paranoia, Paranoia 2 and with him having over 1.3 million Instagram followers and being declared the Sexiest Rapper Alive by, we’re sure he’ll have no issue in having his project get traction.


About JaVonni Brustow

Urban Conservative, Principal at VM3 Media, Co-Editor-in-Chief of and, Javonni Brustow is a Communications and Media Consultant in Washington, DC with a decade of experience as a seasoned concert producer, marketing expert and brand management expert with multiple news publications. He can be heard LIVE Sundays at 3pm on Popglitz Radio and is a regular on the 'Did She Say That' Breitbart Radio Show with Sonnie Johnson. Inquiries: