20 of the Best Lyrics From Dave East’s ‘Paranoia 2′ Mixtape
Dave East continues to wave the flag for A1 hip-hop lyricism. The Harlem rapper dropped his latest mixtape, Paranoia 2, on Tuesday. The project (shortened to P2) picks up where its predecessor, last year's Paranoia: A True Story, left off: P1 serves as a time stamp during the do-or-die stage in Dave’s career while P2 expands on his suffering after that initial success.
There is a lot of comparative and contemplative content regarding his cynical street life and the glamorous rap-star lifestyle to which he's become accustomed. This duality makes for an onslaught of metaphors, similes and other weaponized literary devices that help the former XXL Freshman spit his truth to full avail. The Nas protégé has been teasing the project for the past few months, dropping its cover art and release date on Jan. 2. But he saved some surprises: The mixtape includes "I Found Keisha," the vengeful sequel to the Mass Appeal/Def Jam artist's breakout storytelling single “Keisha,” which appears on 2016's Kairi Chanel.
Paranoia 2 is a digestible 15-song body of work that packs a serious lyrical punch. There aren’t any hits that stand out any more than the rest. Still, each track plays a specific role in the overarching soundtrack to Dave’s day-to-day life. The real head-turning moments don’t come in the form of big choruses or rattling trap beats; instead, it’s Dave’s tactical raps about demons, doubters and his daughter (Kairi Chanel, who appears on the artwork) that raise eyebrows and drop jaws. Even the featured guests—guys like Lloyd Banks, Tory Lanez and T.I.—bring out their hottest and most clever 16 bars in attempts to keep up with Mr. East.
While the entire Paranoia 2 project is worthy of a play, XXL brings you the highlight reel by sifting through every track to highlight 20 of the rhymes you're sure to rewind.
“I guess poverty changed me, I was a decent kid/I was rece' in bed, I had a dream I could speak to Big/Harlem, ain't nowhere like it/I fell in love with new records 'cause all my homies liked it”
“Back to Bentleys, back to the trenches nigga/My digits bigger, I smoke with Nas and I build with Jigga/A true artist, you could never paint a realer picture”
“Prosper, 'P' for the pussy been gettin' thrown at me/'R' for the Rollie that Nas got me, the sky dweller/'O' for the ounces, I drove the most to the mountains’/'S' is for the sour, I sold to niggas in housin'/'P' is for that pack of that Newports that I couldn't never smoke/'E' is for the E-ZPass, get nervous when I pass the toll, pack a pole, pack a stick back on my shit”
“She must've loved me, she put this onion up in the coochie/Played games, my youngest one fades and not the one on Boosie/Heavenly scented, the Dodger was rented/Tryna prosper by any means, I'm Malcolm in a Detroit fitted”
“Tryna avoid all the politics, Corey hated rumblin'/Temptations calling your name will turn you to David Ruffin”
“Early morning in the lobby we loiterin'/I think A.I. was a Hoya then/That's back when I couldn't afford the rent/Life is a bitch, so enjoy it then”
“Saved her number under 'Man-eater'/And I ain't get her from the 'Gram neither/Caught her in traffic, she bent it over like she teachin' yoga/Or she used to be in gymnastics/Either way I cannot pass it, I'm bringing cash in”
“150 million, ain't no one stoppin' me/Watch your convo when you talk to me/Make me think you plottin', tryna possibly follow me/Lay on me, just like them robbers be/Out your damn mind, you just gotta be” —T.I.
“The Hot Boys made me want to cop mad toys/Puffy had me wanting to be a Bad Boy/Biggie had me wanting to be a jackboy”
“I told Impala 'keep flying, I hope we never land'/'All I Need' word for word, I thought I was Method Man/Mary J Blige on repeat/Leave you dead on vacation, brought the 9 to the beach/I'm my own man, so I don't care what your boy think/DJ Whoo Kid had me feelin' I was Lloyd Banks”
“Pac made me think if I get shot I'ma keep standin'/Big Pun had me really wanting to speak Spanish”
“Fear of God collection, told Jerry I need that new shit/Label get to frontin', I pull up on some Ice Cube shit”
“Voltage high for bein' two side niggas, better respect defenses/Talkin' like a gangster, can't even cover your death expenses/Pushin' like they started all over again, that's what excellence is/Killin' shit, two extra sentences, leave here with the rest incentive” —Lloyd Banks
“Interrogations got my mental racing/I ain't tryna end up in Bellevue as no mental patient/See the plan was let's set a schedule, Tim from the other side had it/Tim was into the flashing, sold him sour and caskets”
“Shorty in the tub, James 'bout to leap, he feeling froggy/Soon as she see him, two shots, right in the forehead/Silencer kept the blood neat, ain't leave the floor red”
“You can't understand the highway 'till you hit the road first/Thinking I was a draft pick the minute I had that growth spurt/Same nigga played the corner, bodega with no shirt/Sunflower seeds and Sour Patches, I was askin”
“Breakfast, lunch and dinner was oatmeal/I don't drink soda but I'm so familiar with coke deals/They robbed him when he bought it, ain't get to see how that coat feels/Might not know her name but I could tell you how her throat feels”
“White rice and tuna fish, way before Ruth Chris/We was broke, I ain't care who was rich, stick-up kids do exist/Hard news, just listen, the dog food was clickin'/They moved bitch, long before I heard of Ludacris”
“Grateful I seen 18, grateful I seen 21/Grateful that my pops ain't throw me out, he found my nigga gun/Of course I said it wasn't mine/Runnin' to the park to my father, let's talk another time/Cause he know I want to rhyme”
“My daughter smilin', I'm thankful Freaky told me to rap/Thankful Jungle paid attention, the streets could never hold me back”