In the magazine’s new style issue, the Wu-Tang: An American Saga star opens up about the influences that stem from his Harlem upbringing. The 34-year-old (born David Brewster, Jr.) also shares some of the invaluable contributions that the Manhattan sub-community has offered to fashion and Hip-Hop — as it is often credited as the birthplace of Black art’s resurgence.
“I definitely feel like it has inspired me to be the person I am today,” East says in the forthcoming issue. “It inspires the music I make. It inspires the way I dress. I feel like it’s a goldmine of so much talent. So much comes out of Harlem.”
Speaking on his hometown’s musical influences that guided his style, the “Bet It” artist added: “Harlem taught me to put more of an emphasis on how I wear the clothes I put on.”
He also credited Dipset’s unique sense of fashion as a source of inspiration. “During their skull and bones Rock & Roll look, that was high school for me,” he said.
True Dave East fans can see his evolution from the streets to being serious about his musical craft. Before climbing the music charts, the “Perfect” rapper was practically a neighborhood celebrity on the basketball courts.
“I feel like that’s every kid from the ghetto’s dream,” he said says reflecting on past desires to play in the NBA. “It was my first love and my first grind. The game of basketball prepared me for whatever I was going to do.”
After playing the sport for over 20 years in college and in an amateur non-union league, he eventually traded his basketball for a microphone.
“I was dreaming while I was grinding,” East says about his early rap career. “I was doing my own shows, on the road, with no help from a label.”
After finally releasing his debut studio album in 2019, Survival peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and validated him as one to respect and watch in Hip-Hop. Now, the six-foot-five multifaceted rapper has expanded from music to acting.
East has already crushed roles on hit TV shows including BET’s Being Mary Jane, VH1’s The Breaks, and Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga, where he plays the role of rap icon Method Man.
The Quintessential Gentleman‘s editor-in-chief Eric K. Thomas shared why East was the perfect candidate for the new issue. “He exudes tenacity and resilience,” he expressed in a press release. “His willingness to advocate for Black men that look like him, with similar experiences, and become a community staple is commendable.”
He added, “The Quintessential Gentleman was created with men like East in mind; we are honored to have him as our cover gentleman.”
The October 2022 style issue, featuring Dave East, will hit stands at the end of the month. Read more from the cover story here.