Dave East is in ‘Survival’ mode for debut album

Dave East is making his official debut with ‘Survival,’ even though he’s well-known to the hip-hop community

NEW YORK -- Dave East is making his official debut with “Survival,” even though he’s well-known to the hip-hop community. He’s put out mixtapes and collaborated with artists like Chris Brown, but now he’s looking to give the music world a better picture of who he really is.

He tends to rap about the lures of the street and his upbringing, recalling navigating through the ills that inner-city life can bring. But he also brings fans into his family life, with “Mama I Made It,” dedicated to his mother, and “Daddy Knows,” for his daughter, both on the new album.

East is a protege of Nas, and he says the iconic rapper has given him lots of advice. He also played another rap legend, Method Man, in Hulu’s recent series about the Wu-Tang Clan.