Article and Photos by Andrés Alvarado
Dave East is a ripping-n-rhyming force to be reckoned with. It is fairly easy to say that nowadays, but there was a time when East was on the downside of luck. Notably his stint in prison, and, of course, his basketball compadres Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley making it big in the NBA, while East, well, did not. Nonetheless, this is not a what-could-have-been tale or a life-lesson to be learned, this is just Dave East’s remarkable journey from the streets onto the courts, a quick stop at the jail cell, and finally landing on renowned venue stages. Indeed, Dave East is now a ripping-n-rhyming force to be reckoned with.
Atlanta’s Center Stage served as host to Dave East’s final Get It How I Live Tour stop; as he promotes a bevy of releases. It might be difficult to fathom, but Dave East has released 4 mixtapes and 1 EP since late 2017 — simply put, the man stays busy. So, here we are, hundreds of aficionados on site, a cast of characters complimenting East on the dais, and Mr. East — standing tall and ready to unleash his A-game.
Unlike many of his peers this day and age, Dave East is a rap-star throwback. Hailing from Harlem in New York City, Dave East oozes with the grit-n-grime of a ’90s “golden age of rap” bad boy. His live pageantry abides by this same mantra; all East requires is a DJ and some turntables, the rest is left to him. A Dave East concert is not about flashy props or scintillating lights, no. A Dave East presentation is all about the talent — raw talent — and Dave East carries that by the loads.
All said and done, Dave East is simply a lyrical beast. The Big Apple emcee delivers plenty of fanfare and hype on the mic. His bars are wicked and razor-sharp, and while the stage decor is bare bones, the atmosphere brims of energy and bravado. After roughly a 90-minute presentation, Dave East gave Atlantans a hefty dose of that “real” hip-hop element. The evening was lit, the spits were tip-top, and the night was shaded in hues of roughneck rap. Oh yes, Dave East is a ripping-n-rhyming force to be reckoned with.