In addition to not making music that strictly caters to a mainstream audience—save for his Chris Brown-assisted record "Perfect," the lead single off his newly-released EP, Paranoia: A True Story—East's approach to storytelling, his vocal style and his ear for beats don't resemble industry titans like Drake, Future and Migos, a trifecta of artists whose sound has been duplicated ad nauseum over the past three years.
During an interview on The Breakfast Club on Tuesday (August 22), East was asked by show co-host DJ Envy about his decision to address fake artists on his new project, and the Harlem rapper didn't bite his tongue.
"Everybody following one type of look, sound," said East. "It's hard to see who's original now. You really can't pick out who's story is true. It's just hard to pick it out now."
East, of course, is right—for the most part.
While it's true we're in the midst of a cookie-cutter era, in which the major label system is primarily focused on manufacturing a product that is made by whoever is culturally relevant at the time—or whoever sounds close enough to whoever is culturally relevant at the time—there is also an incredible amount of original artistry being practiced.
For every artist trying to be the next Drake, there's a milo. For every artist trying to be the next Future, there's a Marlon Craft. And for every group trying to be the next Migos, there's a BROCKHAMPTON.
You just have to know where to look for it.