Dave East gets introspective on Survival

Survival displays Dave East’s journey from childhood to manhood and his continued growth as an emcee.
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After a large handful of well-received features, mixtape projects, and last year’s collaborative album with Styles P, Dave East’s debut album Survival arrived. Clocking in at 1hr and 18min, East is truly trying to paint a full picture of how he made it to this point. In a time where short 10-song playlists appear to be the format, Survival is 20 songs deep (including two bonus tracks) of trials, tribulations and triumph.

There’s a generally melodic, laidback vibe throughout Survival that for some may not be upbeat enough, but coupled with East’s delivery and subject matter, the combination is undeniable. On “Need a Sign” featuring Teyana Taylor, Dave East expresses his thoughts, trying to maneuver through the world spitting “Knowing you might get up out the hood / that shit’ll keep you trying,” over the AraabMuzik-produced beat. “On My Way 2 School,” “Seventeen” and “Mama I Made It” follow respectively giving a glimpse into Dave’s younger years with “Mama I Made It” standing out as an ode to his mother and declaration of his success.

Survival has a variety of features on it from Nas, Rick Ross, Fabolous and even fellow Harlem representative, Max B on “Wanna Be A G.” Hearing Max B alongside Dave East, you can’t help but look forward to what Max B will have in store when he’s released. “Daddy Knows” with Ash Leone on the chorus is a true highlight on an already solid project, with Dave’s daughter on the intro with her father.

Dave East doesn’t stray much from what he’s been known for from his past projects, but that isn’t a bad thing. With a little more introspection, fused with his usual delivery and penmanship, Survival displays his journey from childhood to manhood and his continued growth as an emcee.

On Repeat: Need A Sign, Momma I Made It, Wanna Be A G, Daddy Knows Filler: None

Lyrics: 8/10 Production: 7.5/10 Flow: 7.5/10 Creativity: 7/10 Overall: 7.5/10

Music Editor Duane Benjamin, or “Lah’Gic” to those who know him well, has been a member of the Urbanology family since the magazine’s birth. From music, culture, sports or life experiences in general, Duane is always up for an intellectual conversation or debate. A firm believer that laughter keeps you young, amongst friends or strangers, you can often find Duane laughing and cracking jokes to eye watering, belly busting proportions. A fierce competitor on the basketball court and the soccer field, Duane welcomes new challenges to keep him sharp and on his toes, of which Urbanology Magazine is constantly providing.

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