Best of Both Worlds
Dave East is set to put Kevin Durant’s music label on the map.
by Drey Wingate / @ProStatus85
You have seen a lot of ball players try to make the transition to becoming an emcee. It works for some of them, but many should stick to making noise on the hardwood. Then you have those that are gifted to have the best of both worlds.
Harlem native Dave East is one of the few. This up and coming hip-hop artist has been on the scene for a minute now. It just wasn’t with his current profession that he was known for. The game of basketball and the hip-hop culture have a lot in common. When you’re slacking on your craft, someone else is out there getting better. When you become content at your current performance level, another cat is out there working to be better than good enough. The greatest ball players and emcees are known for their precision, and how much they stand out regardless of their competition.
Being a former basketball standout Dave is no stranger when it comes to trying to be the best. After learning that his career wasn’t going as planned, Dave decided to trade in his hardwood dreams for long hours in the booth.
“The transition wasn’t that hard for me because I was always rapping. Whether it was with my friends, in my spare time, on my block, even just for fun,” East said. “I got nice with ball. I’m like 6-5 so it was natural for me to play basketball. Growing up in New York that’s what we did. So that transition was easy. I still play sometimes just to play. But the reason why I stopped playing, taking it seriously and pursuing it as a career was because it wasn’t going the way I wanted it to go. I played with a lot of top players, I saw where their careers were going and I didn’t see mine going in the same direction. So I just switched my hustle up and fell back on what I really loved to do with the music. So I just locked all the way in with it.”
He played AAU as a member of the DC Assault with the likes of OKC superstar Kevin Durant, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Mike Beasley, and Duke standout Nolan Smith. He then signed to play at Richmond. So dude has made a name for himself already.
Standing at slender 6-5 it was only natural for him to play basketball, as he previously stated, especially being from New York. But now, Dave is making his mark elsewhere — in the music industry. Dave admits that he still has mad love for the game. I asked him who he felt was the best player Dave is on the grind heavy and is quickly becoming a well-known figure in the rap game.
After the success of his first official mixtape, “Change of Plans,” hosted by DJ Ill Will and DJ Rockstar, Dave suddenly had hip-hop heads feening for more of his music. Cuts like “Slow Jams,” “Family Affair,” and my personal favorite “Thru Harlem,” which features a voice sample from another Harlem emcee, the legendary Big L, created a huge buzz on the internet, and had music fans like “who is this guy?”
The freestyles on other industry beats that Dave has, make you wonder why the original track didn’t make a remix with him featured on it. Call it exaggeration if you want, it’s a fact. Inspired by Biggie Smalls, Dave writes his music in an art form. Painting a picture for the listeners to see. He is signed to Kevin Durant’s label P Tones Records, and is set to release his latest street project, “American Greed” toward the end of May.
East, on his relationship with Kevin Durant: “You know what, honestly it’s all love because I’m being able to see the progression with the music. You know Kevin is at the top of his game right now, so for him to listen to my music the way he does and support me the way he does and for the whole Oklahoma City team to embrace me the way they do when I go out there is remarkable to me. It makes me go harder and it keeps me humble. I see where they at and I see where I’m going, so it makes me grind harder.”
Not only does Dave have an incredible work ethic, but he also has a great attitude. He is hungry, which is an element that many rappers are missing today. Truth be told for most of them it’s about the money and fame, but for Dave East, it’s about his craft being respected and appreciated. Being his own worst critic, he is always looking for ways to improve. No different from an NBA player trying to make the all-star team. Dave represents Harlem, New York to the fullest, but has every intention of taking the world by storm.
He mentioned to me that he is going to spend the rest of this month in Los Angeles to finish the recording for “American Greed” which features the single “Cold World.” Dave brings his past to his future by telling everybody what events brought him to where he is today.
He then released the official video. If you’re not on Dave East now, when you do hear what he’s bringing to the table, you’re be asking yourself why you didn’t hear about him earlier. Be prepared to hear a lot of this dude in the very near future. Keep up with Dave East on Twitter @Dave_East to see what he has going on. Thanks for checking in. – Pro Status
Download Dave East “Change of Plans” here.