Since leaving Def Jam Recordings last year, Dave East has been on a creative tear. Last year, he stayed busy by linking with Cruch Calhoun for the 30 for 30 album and connected with Scram Jones on For The Love. Now, the Harlem-bred rapper has reunited with producers Mike & Keys for his next outing: Apt 6E. Dave speaks to XXL about the new album, a long-lost Snoop Dogg project, moving on as an independent artist and more.

Anyone familiar with Dave East's story knows that Mike & Keys hold a special place in his heart. After being introduced to the duo by the late Nipsey Hussle, the producers and MC got to work on "Handsome," off East's 2020 project, Karma 3. Four years later, "Handsome" remains East's most popular song, with almost 40 million streams on Spotify and a whopping 18 million views on YouTube. A full-length tape produced by the production duo followed in 2022 with HDIGH (How Did I Get Here). East previously told XXL Mike & Keys was "100 percent my sound."

With all this in mind, there was no one else East wanted to handle a project as sentimental as Apt. 6E, which refers to East's old New York apartment where he got his big break.

"I think that's really where life changed for me," Dave tells XXL. "That's where I got my first deal out of that apartment. Nas signed me, I caught the train to Mass Appeal downtown, then I caught the train back to Queens and walked back to my apartment with the deal in my hand."

Dave also reveals he has a fully recorded joint project with Snoop Dogg. There are even a couple of music videos for some of the songs that Def Jam might still have in its possession.

"I gotta get next to Snoop," Dave says. "That has to come out. That's legendary."

Watch the full conversation with Dave East below, in which he talks about his new project, whether or not the Snoop album will see the light of day, the state of New York rap, the rap battle between Drake and Kendrick Lamar and more.

Watch Dave East's Interview With XXL

Listen to Dave East and Mike & Keys' Apt 6E Album

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