Dave East – Kairi Chanel (Mass Appeal Records, 2016)
Dave East is no rookie. The Harlem MC continues to give his listeners that old-school New York feel that fans have come to expect. One would think that venturing outside of this sound would prove to be a nice change of pace, but moments when East experiments are where the album falls flat. The track “It Was Written” is a great song, with East describing his rise from the bottom to signing with Def Jam. The album’s highest point is “Don’t Shoot,” one of the best storytelling hip-hop tracks of the decade. East uses different vocal pitches to rap his point of view at different ages, telling his story from the age of 10 to now. The album’s high point, however, is matched by the extreme low of “Eyes on Me,” featuring Fabolous—an autotuned mess of a track filled with unnecessary exaggerated talk of him trying to sound proud. All in all, a solid record from East, despite a couple of very sour moments.
Trial Track: “Don’t Shoot”