Dave East Talks About His Album ‘Survival’ at Sole DXB


Dave East, 31, spent most of his life between East Harlem and Queensbridge. The cover for his debut album, Survival, released on November 8, is a photo of East sitting on the corner at 143rd Street and Lenox Ave. He wanted the album art to represent Harlem; to represent where he’s from. It also pays tribute to one of the earliest supporters of his rap career, Huddy 6 (born Andre Hudson), who died in a car accident in October 2010. East wanted to memorialize Huddy, defining how fans will look at Survival before they press play.

We had a chat with Dave East on the making of his latest album ‘Survival’ at Sole DXB

Is This Your First Time In Dubai?

Yes, this is my first time in Dubai, really blessed to be out here and see my fans in this beautiful city.

How was your experience performing at SOLE DXB?

I dint know the city had a culture like this. It’s great to see Dubai show this side of the picture. There’s a big cult fan out here definitely when it comes to hip hop, sneakers and the lifestyle. Would definitely love to be back here again.

Tell us more about the album you recently dropped “Survival” ?

I just really want to get a lot more detailed about my life. Throughout my career so far, I’d kind of given bits and pieces about stuff, but I really want to paint that picture “I want you to feel like you’re in my living room, or picture my living room when I was growing up, where I was growing up—all of that.

But because of East’s lengthy mixtape catalog, those who worked on “Survival” had the challenge of presenting new themes and concepts to those not familiar with his work. We just wanted to ensure that we had a timeless approach to the musicality and sonic of the record.

On ‘Survival’ you have a track called ‘The Marathon Continues’, which is a tribute to Nipsey Hussle. It’s evident you guys were very close. How did you meet?

“Through one of my big homies in LA, she’s like my hood mother, Mama Red. She had known Nip forever, like back when he was calling himself Lil’ Thundercat and all that.

We connected on some street shit. The gang I’m from were up the block from the gang he’s from. He knew who I was and I knew who he was and then we started making music. We started calling each other and going to video shoots and shit like that. There would be times I was in LA and he wouldn’t be there, but he’d send whatever I needed and had his full support.

Another great track on ‘Survival’ is ‘Seventeen’. What was it like to work with Timbaland on that record?

Tim is crazy man! What’s so dope with Timbaland is we did like eight records that day… The first beat Timbaland played for me had Jay-Z on it so I was gonna use that and get Nas on it for the album but it just didn’t work out at the time. Seventeen was the one that just matched up with my creative.

So what’s next for Dave East?
Well apart from my tour, there’s that and a lot of things cooking up. You have to just wait and watch on it.

Dave East’s debut album ‘Survival’ is out now