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Dave East on the Intersection of Fatherhood & Hip-Hop: "I Gotta Have a Filter"

The East Harlem, New York native is now signed to Def Jam, but his approach to music is changing.
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Dave East is a changed man. Not because he spent six months behind bars for selling drugs, or because he spent two years working under the mentorship of Nas at Mass Appeal, but because he became a father.

In a new interview with The Breakfast Club on Thursday (September 29), to promote his forthcoming album Kairi Chanel, the East Harlem, New York native revealed he recently signed with Def Jam. While a deal with a major label deal is certainly newsworthy, it was East's explanation of how becoming a father changed his mindset as a man and the way he now approaches his work and his career that was far more interesting.

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"I'm more conscious of what I'm talking about. Because I know she here now. And I know in a minute she's going to be in school and people going to be like, 'You heard what your father said?' So I really got to be conscious of what I do now and pictures I am taking, just my overall everything. I can still have fun, but it gotta have a filter to it because I'm a father now."

Actions speak louder than words so it remains to be seen if East will actually follow through with his promise to be more self-aware, both in his music and on social media. But the fact that he's conscious of the implications that his words and actions can have on his baby daughter as she grows into a young woman is a fantastic start.

To be clear, no rap artist should have to completely censor their music for fear that lyrical content could negatively impact their children. After all, Def Jam didn't sign Dave East for him to become Sinbad. However, being able to recognize potential professional hazards in light of increasing parental obligations proves that East is wise beyond his 28 years on earth. As an expecting father myself, I have an immense amount of respect for his vision and his plan.

For East, this process already started when he decided to name his new album after his daughter: Kairi Chanel. 

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