According to Dave East, he was in the Queensbridge area often since a lot of his family resides in the area. He says his music gradually became popular among those in Queensbridge, and eventually caught the attention of Nas’ brother, Jabari “Jungle” Jones.
Once Jungle caught wind of the Harlem wordsmith’s music, Dave East explained that it didn’t take long before Nas was also introduced to his music.
“I got a lot of family in Queensbridge and Ravenswood,” Dave East said. “Over there in the hood or whatever. So, my auntie was living over there since maybe 94-95. So, I be going back and forth, back and forth. And me and Jungle got a relationship. So, I already knew Jungle before Nas even reached out or whatever. So, I would be going back and forth over there. And once I really got into the music. Taking it serious, all of the dudes over there from Queensbridge and from that area, they got to talking about it. They got to playing it in their cars and all that. So, Jungle caught wind of it. And the next thing I know, he let me know his brother was feeling it. He said they was in L.A. They was pulling it up on YouTube and all that. Just listening to different records I put out.”
Later in the interview, Dave East offered his thoughts on where he sees himself fitting in in Hip Hop. According to East, he’s hoping to bring back the reality raps once prevalent in New York Hip Hop.
“Honestly, I feel like that the real—Like what Nas and them brought to the game,” he said. “The storytelling, just the feel of reality rap. I feel like that’s not really out there right now. Especially coming from New York. I’m out in the clubs. I’m listening to the radio. And it’s a club, turn-up type of—That’s what’s really running everything. And I feel like I bring back that feel of ‘Damn, you could play it all day.’ A lot of times that club music, you can’t wake up in the morning and put that on. So, I feel like I’m bringing back that every day, relatable…I’m bringing that back.”