Open Space: Dave East

For the latest episode of Open Space, Harlem’s own Dave East stopped by MASS APPEAL HQ to talk about his Def Jam debut Paranoia: A True Story, which drops today.

“My lifestyle just changed dramatically over the last year,” says East, a new father whose financial situation has improved dramatically since he began his mixtape grind seven years ago.  “I’m from the streets and I’m used to being at the bottom and seeing people gettin’ it. So now I’m on that other side and it kinda got me watching my back and really keeping an eye on my surroundings and the people I bring around me. I try to keep that circle tight.”

His concerns are not just the usual celebrity complaints. “It’s a spooky feeling,” East reveals. “I’ve had two of my closest people to me get murdered in the last four years. It just be shit in my mind. But it be so much more positive shit going on that overshadows it, but that thought is still there, so I named it Paranoia.”

East feels his new project shows his artistic growth. “Anything you do long enough you gon’ start to really become a master,” he says. “I feel like all of the mixtapes up until now was finding me. I didn’t know who I was musically until my last two projects. I was still kind figuring out, ‘Am I gonna be this super-New York rapper? Or am I gonna do everything? Am I gonna try to experiment with different artists, different beats.?”

Having chosen the latter route, Dave East refuses to be put in a box. And while he’s happy to be working with the likes of Nas, Jeezy, Wiz Khalifa, French Montana, and Chris Brown, he feels a responsibility to represent for NYC rap fans. “People wanna hear that New York shit. They wanna hear the streets. They wanna hear the grimy, the pain. No matter how much that crossover record is needed, people be wanting to hear certain shit from me, cause you can’t get it from too many people no more.” The secret, he says, is balance. Check out the full conversation up top.

Related Posts

Music
Music

Dave East Comfortably Overlooks NYC In “Type of Time” Video

Features
Features

HSTRY Lesson with Dave East

Video
Video

Open Space: Thouxanbanfauni

Video
Video

Open Space with Kodie Shane

Music Video
Music Video

Watch Dave East’s Latest Video, “It Was Written”

Ad

Latest News

News

Pete Rock Drops the Hammer in Instagram Response to Waka Flocka

“I just think y'all can't do what we did”
lavar ball donald trump Sports

LaVar Ball Doesn’t Have a ‘Thank You’ for Trump: “Who?”

LiAngelo took the high road; BBB’s fearless leader isn’t
News

Meek Mill Has Been Released from Solitary Confinement

A small but important victory
Teslas Music Video

PREMIERE: Tesla’s Ghost “Zero Hour” Video

It's a mob meeting
Gilles Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! Gilles

Get familiar with the Atlanta-bred lawyer/rapper: "People think it's a gimmick"
kanye west News

Kanye West is Producing Albums For Every G.O.O.D. Music Artist

Yeezy Season has returned
mike sits on his rooftop in the god's with me music video Music Video

A Higher Power Watches Over MIKE in New “God’s With Me” Video

Church in these streets
body-cameras News

Study: Police Body Cameras Have Problems, But Are Still Necessary

Some things never change
chance the rapper dwayne wade News

Chance the Rapper and Dwayne Wade Are Co-Producing a Film on Chicago Basketball

And you say Chi City!
Evidence Music Video

Evidence and Jason Goldwatch Show You Their Los Angeles in “Jim Dean” Video

"Walkin' in the rain off the Jim Beam / Dreams broken on the boulevard, Jim Dean"
Music

Read This in Auto-Tune: T-Pain’s New Album, ‘Oblivion,’ is Here

Still snappin'
seven1 Music

PREMIERE: SeVen1 ‘Sinners Remorse’ EP

"These shorties is f*cked up / They kill but can't hustle"
moneybagg yo youngboy never broke again Music

Youngboy NBA and Moneybagg Yo Team for Conceptual ‘Fed Baby’s’ Album

Against the law
Willie Music Video

PREMIERE: Willie The Kid x V Don “Blue Notes” Video

"The love kept me afloat, the hate kept me on my toes"
plane News

Pilots Have a New Hobby — Drawing Dicks in the Sky

Excuse me as I f*ck the sky
CoteKid Reviews

Check Out SpaceJam Bo’s Exciting New Mixtape ‘Cote Kid’

Montgomery's finest