David Brewster, Jr. (born June 3, 1988), better known by his stage name Dave East, is an American rapper from East Harlem, New York . He gained attention in 2014 from his mixtape Black Rose. Since the release of his mixtape, East has been signed to rapper Nas’ label Mass Appeal Records and has made a number of guest appearances. On October 1, 2015, East released his mixtape titled Hate Me Now with features from Nas, Mack Wilds, Pusha T and more. In 2016, East was chosen as part of the XXL magazine’s 2016 Freshman Class. In September 2016, he signed to Def Jam Recordings.
David Brewster, Jr. was born in Harlem, New York and spent most of his life between Harlem and Queensbridge. He is of Bajan and Dominicandescent. At a young age East had a love for basketball; however, his true passion was for writing rhymes, and using his rhymes to keep him above the circumstances around him. At some point, he moved to Maryland where he played at Springbrook High School. Additionally, he played in the Amateur Athletic Union with then-future NBA players Ty Lawson, Greivis Vasquez and Kevin Durant. After Springbrook High School, East attended the University of Richmond, then transferring to Towson University, while also gaining attention from the NBA but ultimately decided to focus on his music.
In 2010, he released his first mixtape Change of Plans which gained him a little recognition. He later released the mixtapes Insomnia, American Greed, Don’t Sleep and No Regrets, solidifying his commitment to music. In 2013, East periodically sold drugs throughout Harlem to support himself and his music. He then released his sixth mixtape Gemini.
In 2014, his music reached the ears of his favorite rapper Nas who quickly looked for ways to contact East. Unbeknownst to Nas, East was close friends with Nas’ younger brother and fellow rapper Jungle who quickly introduced the two. By summer 2014, East was the newest signee of Nas’ new Mass Appeal Records along with Bishop Nehru, Fashawn, Boldy James and Run The Jewels. In July 2014, he released his seventh mixtape Black Rose through the label, which received favorable reviews from music critics. In 2015, he released his eighth mixtape Hate Me Now with features from Pusha T, Nas, Mack Wilds, Jadakiss, Styles P and more.
In February 2016, East’s song “Cut It” peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Twitter Real-Time chart. In June 2016, XXL magazine revealed their annual Freshman Class for 2016, which included East, along with other nine new artists. In August 2016, he released a joint extended play titled Born Broke, Die Rich with rapper Kur. In September 2016, East was featured on the BET Hip Hop Awards cypher alongside Young M.A, Ms. Jade, Kur and Sam Black. On September 29, 2016, he announced that he has signed a deal with Def Jam Recordings and the next day released the mixtape, Kairi Chanel, which peaked at number 38 on the US Billboard 200.