Dave East Reflects On His ‘Brother’ Nipsey Hussle: I Was ‘Fortunate To Be Around Him’

While discussing his new 'HDIGH' project in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HL, Dave East spoke about his bond with the late Nipsey Hussle, working with the 'Queen' Mary J. Blige, and more.

Though Dave East reps Harlem, part of his heart will forever be in the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles, thanks to his friendship with the late Nipsey Hussle. Dave became close with Nipsey before his untimely death in 2019 and appeared on a handful of Nipsey’s tracks – like “Clarity,” “Down The Road,” and “Chosen.” However, as Dave tells HollywoodLife, the spirit of Nipsey lives on in his new project, HDIGH. “It’s like nine tracks,” he says in the EXCLUSIVE interview above, “entirely produced by Mike N Keys. They are a production duo I met in L.A. with Nipsey. That’s how I connected with them.”

“[Nipsey] was my brother, man,” Dave tells HollywoodLife. “I learned a lot from him. I feel like, now the world is seeing everything he had to offer. But, I’m just fortunate that I was able to be around him, and, you know, soak up some of that game.”

Dave East (Shutterstock)

Dave is one who puts his money where his mouth is. In November 2021, Dave took inspiration for Nispey’s Marathon Clothing store and purchased his own storefront in his native Harlem. “Bought my first store today,” Dave captioned an Instagram post that featured him proudly showing off the keys to his new business. “I told Nispey he laid the blueprint for real ones everywhere. Wish Shooter could see this sh-t. Coming soon 2022. Couldn’t have made this happen without [real estate agent Michelle Smalls.] The Realest!!!”

Nipsey (Shutterstock)

Dave tells HollywoodLife that HDIGH – short for “How Did I Get Here” – tells “another piece of his life” and gives fans new and old a clearer vision as to who he is as an artist. “What you see is what you get,” he tells HollywoodLife. “I’m not like a character, I don’t, like put on a wrap, Superman outfit, and come out here and act like something I’m not. [I’m] Authentic.”

During the EXCLUSIVE video interview with HollywoodLife, Dave talks about his experience of working with Mary J. Blige on his 2020 track, “Know How I Feel” (“That was crazy,” he says.) He also discusses portraying “one of my favorite rappers,” aka Method Man, on Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga. He also hints at a future collab with Coi Leroy, why he was meant to be born in the 1970s, and more.

Dave East’s HDIGH is out now.

More From Our Partners