Dave East Reclaims His Independent Roots on 4th Album “APT 6E” Prod. by Mike & Keys (Album Review)

Harlem emcee Dave East joining forces with Mike & Keys for his 4th LP. Breaking out in 2014 off his 8th mixtape Black Rose, this resulted in the man signing a joint deal with Def Jam Recordings & even Nas’ independently owned Mass Appeal Recordsas well as a spot in the iconic 2016 XXL Freshman Class. However, his full-length debut Survival wouldn’t come out until 3 years later & was very disappointing in the sense that he tried appealing to a more mainstream audience that just didn’t exist. The Harry Fraud produced sophomore effort Hoffa proved to be better as did his final Def Jam offering Fortune Favors the Bold, so I was already intrigued to hear him take it back to his independent roots on APT 6E.

After the intro, the first song “Doin’ Great” starts off with pianos & hi-hats explaining the ways to get out of this life whereas “God Produced It” hooks up a sample-laced trap instrumental talking about telling himself he could do it time & time again. “Snow White” discusses the largest gang takedown in the history of the Queens borough over a psychedelically rattling beat prior to “I.D.R.N. (I Don’t Regret Nothing)” goes into a ratchet direction so he can talk about not regretting anything.

“Me vs. Me” jumps on top of organs & soulful guest vocals from Stacy Barthe making it clear that the toughest fight of his life was within himself just before “This Lifestyle” featuring Kurupt mixes hi-hats & synthesizers as they break down the way they both living currently. “Ballin’” featuring Buddy finds the 2 cloudily smoking good & poppin’ another bottle while “Dangerous Riddim” featuring Shaggy comes through with summertime vibes top to bottom generally. 

Stacy returns on the whimsically rugged “So Much Changed” getting on his grown man shit topically, but then “Intervention” talks about going through it over pianos & hi-hats. “Can’t Even Know” hops over a soul sample making it clear that he ain’t concerned unless it’s over the guap & that he has a lot more to learn. “Out the Way” passionately explains his passion outlasted doubters & critics while the final song “I Remember” ahead of the outro ends APT 6E in the form of a profound ballad dedicated to all sorts of people.

Dave’s R&B EP For the Love produced by Scram Jones from the beginning of the year was disappointing as intrigued as I was about the idea going into it from the beginning, but APT 6E finds him reclaiming his independent spirit & has me highly anticipating Hoffa 2 since it was hinted at a while ago. Mike & Keys bring their west coast sound & mix it with Dave’s hardcore East coast lyricism.

Score: 7/10

Subscribe To Our Weekly NewsletterStay Updated With Exclusive Content, News, & Events Straight To Your Inbox!

Legends Will Never Die

Just a 27 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

Related Articles