October 22, 2014

Mobb Deen swears he will never stop rapping the N Word.

Every other year or so, I add a new rapper to my roster of ‘niggas I sorta stan’ for. That last addition to that list was LE$. Before him, it was Vince Staples. It’s beginning to look like 2014 is going to belong to Dave East, who’s for my money, the best New York rap prospect since Action Bronson stopped rapping the N word.

It definitely doesn’t hurt that he’s affiliated with Mass Appeal Records (and by extension, the GOAT, Nas), but he had me sold long before that news got out. His last mixtape, Black Rose, is easily one of the best projects I’ve heard this year – it’s brilliant. To be completely honest, the last rapper I heard that with as much versatility as Dave East was Freddie Gibbs back in 2009. That’s not to say that they’re equals or anything absurd, but I’m impressed. The kid can really do it all: club shit, gully shit, narratives, pure shit talking and whatever the fuck else you can think off. He does it over all kinds of beats and he’s already pretty nifty with the hooks – crucial if you’re trying to do anything substantial in this rap shit. Oh and for the record, I’m more likely to listen to a freestyle over a recycled beat if the original song didn’t just drop a month ago. I think we should all let all the rappers know that shit. This is how you do it.

“Take Money” isn’t on Black Rose but it offers a nice preview of what you’re gonna hear on some of the gullier tracks if you decide to take the plunge. It’s essentially a freestyle over 50 Cent’s “Ski Mask Way” (RIP Disco D) that finds Dave interspersing shit-talking with autobiographical details, and you gotta admit that he kinda dismantles this shit with what seems like consummate ease. The only minor quibble I have is that homie kinda reminds me of Snoop in the ‘Nuthin But A G Thang’ video; same gangly presence with a slightly withdrawn vibe. But Snoop is Snoop and 99.98% of the folks that ever tried to rap would probably trade their souls for Snoop’s career and the spiritual successor, Wiz, is busy cracking under the pressure of a divorce (Snoop would NEVER), so maybe Mr. East is on the right track.

He just needs to make sure that Nas never picks any of his beats. Because Nas ain’t Dr. Dre and you can never be too careful about these things. Go pick that Black Rose tape up to see what I mean…

Dave East – Black Rose

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