October 23rd 2018
Dave East & Styles P
Another great example of the old collaborating with the new. I think collaborations like this are necessary to break the stereotype that ALL new rappers are cough syrup-dazed mumble rappers. I’m getting more and more convinced that Hip Hop is on the rise again as I continue to write these reviews, but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Dave East & Styles P dropped this album on the same day as Ghostface Killah’s ‘The Lost Tapes‘ and Atmosphere’s ‘Mi Vida Local‘ and the three of these albums made my holiday easy by making great albums at the same time. Let’s hope that Hip Hop continues to improve as it has been doing over the past month. As an English teacher in Thailand, it’s sad to hear that Hip Hop is represented by that ‘Gucci Gang’ song. My kids have a bad influence if they are learning English from music like that.
The first time I heard of Dave East was from Netflix’s series ‘Rapture’ as he was walking around New York with veteran rapper Nas in their respective neighborhoods from which they grew up in. East was born David Brewster Jr. in Harlem, New York on June 3, 1988. He is of Louisiana Creole and Dominican decent and has stated he is Muslim as he converted to Islam while he was in prison. He released his first mixtape in 2010 entitled ‘Changed of Plans’, and five mixtapes later, his mixtape ‘Black Rose’ caught the attention of Nas and East was soon signed to Nas’ Mass Appeal label along with Bishop Nehru, Fashawn and Run The Jewels. On September 2016 he signed to Def Jam Recordings.
Netflix’s ‘Rapture’ series featuring Dave East and Nas
David Styles from Queens, New York is better known as Styles P and his name has been circulating in the industry as early as 1994, though only as a solo artist when he released his debut album, ‘A Gangster and a Gentleman’ in 2002. He began performing and writing music together with childhood friends Sheek Louch and Jadakiss as the group known as The Lox. The group were discovered by Mary J. Blige who was impressed by their lyrical content and passed their demo to Sean “Diddy” Combs. They were soon hired to write for Bad Boy Records and they soon gained notoriety for writing for numerous hits for Diddy along with other artists signed to the label. The finally released their debut album, ‘Money, Power & Respect’ in 1998 and their album went platinum. Despite their success, they were not happy with the glamorous image portrayed by the label, and they later signed to Ruff Ryders Entertainment, who also managed DMX. The Lox released their album ‘We Are the Streets’ in 2002, and Styles P’s aforementioned solo album followed shortly after.
‘Beloved‘ is an endearment term used mostly by people from Harlem and is the name of the album put together by both of these hard-working rappers. The album has thirteen tracks and though it feels short at a mere forty-one minutes long, it doesn’t feel lacking in substance whatsoever. Feature artists include Dyce Payne, Jazzy, Tish Hyman, and (of course) The Lox. Styles P no doubt shows his lyrical proficiency, while Dave East perfectly compliments him. As I’m listening to the album for a second time in a row while writing this, not paying much attention to who is rapping, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between them lyrically if it wasn’t for their different tone of voices. The tracks blend fluidly from the grimy and gritty beats The Lox are known for to the RnB and Pop-ish beats necessary to keep the album lively without much of a hiccup.
Dave East & Styles P – ‘Load My Gun’ ft. The Lox
If you’re looking for music that brings you back to the early 2002s Gangster Rap while having a bit of new-school flavor, ‘Beloved’ is the album for you! I enjoyed listening to this work of art while learning more about both these artists. I recommend listening to this while walking or driving around your block, definitely a breezy, feel-good album (despite the dark undertones). I’ll see you guys next week! One Love.
Stay tuned for the next edition and be sure to follow me at @stickykeys! Also if there are any albums you would like me to review, drop a comment below.