Music

Dave East Opens up About His New Album ‘Survival’ in New ‘Billboard’ Interview

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He also speaks on his role in Wu Tang: The American Saga and his rise to success.

New York rapper Dave East shares his thoughts on his debut studio album Survival, his rise in the industry and more in a new feature with Billboard. Set to arrive later tonight, Survival is reportedly packed with features by Nas, DJ Premier, Rick Ross and more.

In the in-depth profile, the artist also chats about his childhood, what it was like being a teen in New York, and working with industry greats like Nas. He also touched on his acting career mainly Hulu’s Wu Tang: An American Saga and an upcoming U.K. tour.

On taking his time putting together survival:

“I started the acting thing, so that kind of blasted out at me. I mean I was still recording, but the focus kind of shifted for a minute. But I put in almost a year recording Survival. Just, you know, tweaking it, going back and forth — this is the first project I’ve put out that I sat with, and really digested it, soaked it in, let my whole crew soak it in. I just played it, over and over and over, to see what we didn’t like about it.”

On if he were to have been a successful rapper when he was in his late teens:

“I don’t think I could have handled it, bro, at that age, because I was very impressionable at them ages. Whatever my man was doing, I wanted to do it. I had friends that was into a lot of illegal activities, and so that — if my man was doing it, I thought that it was cool.”

On his acting career and never taking acting classes:

“I had a few people that, once I got the role, they was recommending me to this acting coach, that acting coach. But I watch Cam, I watch Meth — I watch them just being they self! Just being the person we love, off of their music. And if you don’t know em from their music, you love the character they play! So I didn’t even look for no coach, I just said, ‘You know what? I’m gonna just embody this.'”

On his upcoming U.K. tour:

“Yeah and my first U.K. tour – first time I’m going over there, can’t wait. But I feel like I’ve had a lot of supporters from the U.K. that have been supporting me from the jump, and they’re finally gonna get a live show. But also Amsterdam, Lisbon, Paris –we’re moving around this time. And it feels good because I can remember just, you know, rapping for the hood.”

Survival drops at midnight on Friday, November 8. Head to Billboard to read the entire feature.

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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