There isn’t many artists in the rap game working harder than Dave East right now: Whether it’s the remixes he’s been flooding the streets with lately, or the random Mixtapes he’s been dropping, this man has had his focus solely on the music (And I Like It). With the release of “P2,” I feel like this is yet another chance for East to get a bit more personal with his fans, as he continues to perform a balancing act between his newfound fame and the street life he refuses to leave behind.
‘Prosper’ reminds me of both some ‘Illmatic’ and ‘Reasonable Doubt’ s–t. It’s smooth as f–k, and has Dave simply speaking about his day to day thoughts on his verses.
Dave has some heavy-hitting lyrics in his arsenal, but it’s the slyness that he raps with on this track that stands out to me the most. It’s like he’s unfazed by the demons around him, something that convinces me he’s meant to be a narrator for the hood.
4. THANK YOU
“Thank You” is a little bit of a new sound for Dave East, as he raps with this happy-go-lucky style over this blissful instrumental (It sorta reminds me of ‘Apparently’ from J. Cole’s “Forest Hill Drive” album). Despite the track’s colorful sound, Dave was somehow able to remain true to himself on it, discussing how he kept it real on his way to the top.
Fans who may think Dave East is a little too boring for them, this song will make you think otherwise.
Doesn’t it feel like Dave East is the Harlem version of old school T.I.?
I had no clue how this track would sound when I found out T.I. was featured on it: Would it be a street heavy track that has both artists bragging about their hood ways? Or would it sound like some D-Boy club s–t that T.I. has been accustom to making as of late? Fortunately for us, it sounds like a combination of both! Even though the premise of the song is about women that both of them can care less about, it still has this gutter feel to it that fans of both artists will love.
2. I FOUND KEISHA
For all the dudes in this world that got Keisha’d before, you will enjoy how this story ends…
My favorite Dave East track is “Keisha,” mainly for its unique plot and vivid storytelling. By the end of “Keisha,” if you weren’t pissed off at her, then you must’ve shared her same f–ked up mindset. Well a couple years later, that broad that did him wrong was finally caught, and the details of that capture is pretty intriguing. I’m going to let you guys hear the track to find out exactly what happened, but what I can tell you is that Dave delivers in this riveting conclusion to ‘Keisha’s story’ (trust me, it’s a conclusion…Unless she’s some type of boogie monster…).
Dave East is the best in the game at storytelling, and ‘Corey’ confirms that.
Over this dramatic instrumental, Dave East tries his best to describe the deteriorating relationship between himself and a pal named ‘Corey’ who always seemed to play second fiddle to any person he befriended. You will find it astonishing how comprehensive Dave is on the track, as he describes how everything went sour between the two former friends.
The story of “Corey” is meaningful, heartbreaking, and way too common.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. TALK TO BIG (4.4/5)
2. PROSPER (5/5)
3. WOKE UP (4.6/5)
4. POWDER (4/5)
5. COREY (5/5)
6. THANK YOU (4.8/5)
7. I CAN NOT (4.5/5)
8. REGULAR HARLEM S–T (N/A)
9. ANNOYING (4.9/5)
10. WHAT MADE ME (3.9/5)
11. VIOLENT (4.1/5)
12. I FOUND KEISHA (5/5)
13. MAINTAIN (4.6/5)
14. NEVER BEEN (4.2/5)
15. GRATEFUL (3.9/5)
After all the praise, the scandalous women in his life, and the new money, Dave East seems to have remained the same street n—a he was from day 1. He still raps with that same hunger that he had when he first entered into the scene, which at this point may never waver. However, what has changed is that the people the Harlem rapper chose to accompany him on this album was able to help him find different ways to speak his mind: Whether it’s Bino Rideaux’s hoppy feature on “Maintain,” T.I.’s brash feature on “annoying,” or Tory Lanez bizarre feature on ‘Woke Up,’ Dave found a way to recruit a few individuals that allowed him to change what the narrative sounds like without completely changing what the narrative is. I like that mindset, because it allows him to expand his audience without completely change who he is.
I can see how some listeners would think this album was a little on the boring side: There wasn’t many memorable hooks, catchy ad-libs or gimmicky flows, just a bunch of raw music that at times sound similar to each other. But if you really take the time to listen to the storytelling that Dave East’s does in his raps, you will enjoy the album quite a bit. So don’t view the album as a musical experience that should have you shaking your ass — view it as a cinematic experience that will have you wondering what happens next after every line.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.