Dave East, a Harlem rapper, has been around for a while, but without the big-name endorsements or hallmark songs that have propelled some of his peers’ careers, he has yet to achieve mainstream recognition. That said, his most recent release, the Harry Fraud-produced Hoffa, is a lesson in eschewing mainstream appeal in favor of making high-quality material and remaining loyal to yourself – the album Dave East has always needed in his discography. However, it turns out that one of East’s colleagues had some advise for him on how to increase his chances of landing future projects.
East told Apple Music 1’s Ebro about how J. Cole helped him make some changes to improve his rap voice, which is crucial to any rap artist’s success. “I had a chance to lock in with J. Cole in the studio with the engineer, just me and him, and he asked that same question, like, ‘Bro, I love what you do, I truly appreciate your pen, but you rap with one tone,’” he recalled. “I sat and actually listened to myself, and a lot of my stuff is one tone.”
“Me and him in the studio experimenting tones,” he stated of the rest of the session. He’s just trying to figure out how high and low I can get with my voice, and then he’s like, ‘Apply that to your music.’ Keep an eye out for the differences. That’s something I’ll have to keep working on, keep working on. I believe it will be a great addition to my music.” Listening to Hoffa, it’s evident that the advise paid off, as Dave seems more invigorated than ever, partly because to Harry Fraud’s complimentary beat selections, but also because his inflections give his delivery a new dimension, accentuating the emotional stakes of his rhymes.