Dave East - Paranoia 2 (Review)

Whats up guys? Rich here with another review. This time im about to dive into Dave East’s newest album “Paranoia 2 (P2)”. This right here is Dave East’s best project, and a special one at that. Before I get into it, I wanted to address a past review I did of Dave’s “Paranoia 1”. Long story short, I overrated it. I gave it a 9 but it was really an 8, still a good project though. With that being said, lets get right to it. 

#1: Talk To Big- This song sets the tone of the tape perfectly. Most of the songs on this tape have the same laid back, chill ass vibe to them. Rapping on a dope ass beat laced with piano keys and trumpets, it sounds like something you’d hear entering heaven (lol). Dave’s verses here fit the beat perfectly, rapping about a time where he was on the streets and had to hustle to survive, reminiscing about the past and what that life consists of. 

#2: Prosper- Another track where Dave raps his ass off on a tough beat, it reminds me of the old school New York streets. Again Dave’s subject matter consists of the street life and his past, rapping about what it was like on those Harlem streets. “She must’ve loved me she put this onion up in her coochie. My youngins want fades, but not the one on Boosie” .

#3: Woke Up (feat. Tory Lanez)- If you know me, you know Tory is one of my favorite artists out right now. Everything he touches turns to gold, and this track is no different. He blesses this joint with a catchy hook that fits the track perfectly. Dave continues to give us quality verses here, and his flow was impeccable. This track is a little more upbeat then the previous songs, one that can be played at a party.

#4: Powder- The piano is my favorite instrument, and this beat had plenty of that. Another laid back track that reminds me of a relaxing snowy day, Dave walks us down memory lane, while expressing the stresses of having his friends change on him once he got money. The whole tone of the song just mentally brings me back to a simpler time. 

#5: Corey- This here is a story telling track about a guy named Corey. This is the story of a guy who is stagnant, stuck in the street life and is jealous/envious of his friends who are all doing better than him. One of his friends is Dave, who he expects to do more for him, and is mad because he doesnt. This is a good example of what Dave seems to deal with a lot, and adds to the whole paranoia theme. Dave cant trust his old friends, and it hurts him. Hes on to Corey’s fakeness and his negative intentions. “How can you hate the only brother that you never had?” Oh and by the way, another fire ass beat. Dave’s lyricism and story telling skills are definitely on display here.

#6: Thank You- This track is the first slight misstep of the album. Its a pretty good song, but something ill skip most of the time. The songs about Dave thanking his fans and haters. It has a happy sounding piano beat, something that sounds like you’d hear in a school play or something. Reminds me of the outro to J Cole’s 2014 FHD album. Dave’s lyrics here are passable, but the tone of the song doesnt exactly fit the mellow/gritty sound of the rest of the tape. 

#7: I Can Not- Here is where things get back on track. This song is an absolute banger. The beat is dope af, Dave bodies the track with impressive lyricism, and his flow is so damn great. We back to the gangsta subject matter and gritty NY streets on this one, just how I like it. This is a song I repeat often. “Only with niggas I know will go to hell with me, burn in that fire for all that weve done. Only keep medical all in my blunt, I got some pills and you all can get one”.

#8: Regular Harlem S***T- This is a skit with a crackhead ranting and bragging about I dont even know what. Im glad Dave kept the skits to a minimum on this tape, because he still isnt good at it lol. He seems to really mess with the crackheads.

#9: Annoying (feat T.I.)- Another banger, Dave is rapping about a girl whos annoying him, wanting to be more than just someone hes smashing. Dave cant focus on her though, because hes focused on the money. Ive never been much of a T.I. fan, but he does a great job here. He gives us a smooth, quick little verse that definitely serves its purpose. 

#10: What Made Me- I love this joint right here. This song is Dave paying homage to all of the people who inspired him in life and in his career. He name drops a whole bunch of his inspirations here, from DMX to 50 to 2Pac to AZ Faison (Paid in Full). Each of these people had him learning something different, and inspiring him to rap, get money, whatever. The beat has a Boyz N The Hood, American Gangster type oldschool feel to it. “Hov made me wanna throw the diamond up, Nas made me want a QB chain” . 

#11: Violent (feat Lloyd Banks)- My god, this song is fantastic. Not only is the beat hard as hell, but Dave kills his verse and the hook. Banks comes through and absolutely bodies the track with amazing lyricism, but i expected no less from the G-Unit vet. The chemistry between the two here is great, and I definitely wouldnt mind more tracks from them in the future.

#12: I Found Keisha- This is another story telling track, and a sequel to the song “Keisha” from his 2016 album “Kairi Chanel”. He gets the drop on this girl Keisha who robbed him, and its time for some payback. Dave is a good story teller. This track is more than a good story, its a good song as well.

#13: Maintain (feat. Bino Rideaux)- Here we get the second slight misstep of the album. The hook features some random guy who does a decent auto-tune job. Its as if Dave didnt feel like paying for a Future feature, so he went and found this guy. The beat is pretty cool, and Dave does his thing though (even though the song is short and we only get one verse).

#14: Never Been (feat. Matt Patterson)- More reminiscing and street memories from Dave; He expresses his desire to put his friends on as well, and broaden their horizons beyond the hood. The featured artist gives us dope vocals that add to the track, and the beat is perfect for the subject matter. Slow, mellow, and something that makes me go into deep thinking about my life.

#15: Grateful (feat. Marsha Ambrosius)- This is the last song on the tape, and one that I love to be quite frank. Aside from the fact that he simply bodied the track, Dave is rapping about homies he lost, his struggles that he went through in life, and the life of a young hustler trying to make it. Despite his struggles, hes grateful for the life god has given him, and grateful to the people that helped him get to this point. Deep stuff from an MC who has the power to paint pictures of the streets with his lyrics. The beat is amazing as well. Its a slow, relaxing piano melody that you can fall asleep to (in a good way). Marsha Ambrosius kills the track with fire vocals that put the icing on the cake.

Man, this album was incredible. This is the best project ive ever heard from him. The theme and tone of the tape was mostly consistent, the production was amazing, and he gets the most out of his features. Ive been listening to this album 2-3 times a day since it dropped, but nkt because I had to review it, but because I genuinely wanted to. My heart wants to give P2 a 9.5 out of 10 because I really loved it, but I have to put my reviewer hat on and nitpick. The subject matters and the beats could have been a bit more diverse (a whole lot of reminiscing and piano beats), but i really didnt mind it at all. Not to mention the two songs I felt were slight missteps on here. If I could take two songs from Paranoia 1 and replace them, itd be really hard not to give this album a 10/10. But nontheless, Dave East is in classic airspace with this album. Im sure P2 will end up being in my top 1-3 albums of 2018 come Christmas. 

9.0 (damn near 9.5)/10

Dave East is here to stay

-Big Rich