[With his new Black Rose project picking up steam, New York rap newcomer Dave East gives SOHH readers the breakdown behind his concept-driven personal release.]

During the making of this tape, I lost some close friends to murder. This project was just a lot more heartfelt than my previous releases and I felt I was speaking from somewhere deeper than a Harlem guy’s point of view.

I knew people could relate to this. There’s someone in every city that could relate to what I was saying. It’s something that will help people get out of that environment.

Honestly, this was just the feel of my tape. I feel that’s something missing right now. Nobody’s really talking about what’s going on right now in their life. They’re just trying to appeal to the rest of the world. I was just trying to let people know what I was going through.

The way I got everyone aboard was pretty natural. It wasn’t really planned out. With Smoke DZA, that’s the homie from the town. He was just supporting everything I was doing and he was giving it his all from his standpoint. I didn’t say, “I’m going to have Smoke DZA on this one. I’m going to have Rico Beats do this joint.” It just came together.

It basically came together and told a story on its own.

Check out the new mixtape: