Dave East and Styles P ‘Beloved’ Project: 20 of the Best Lyrics
In the past, when people spoke of "the hardest out," Styles P was always among the first to come to mind, due to The LOX member's penchant for pummeling beats with lyrics that conveyed a disregard for authority or competition. And while that distinction still fits The Ghost appropriately, nowadays, Dave East can also be mentioned in that light, as he has spent the past few years carrying the flag for modern NYC street rap. When it was announced that the Yonkers veteran and the Harlem upstart were collaborating for a full-length project titled Beloved, purveyors of hardcore rejoiced and relished in the thought of the possible fireworks to come.
Rising to the occasion over the course of 13 songs, Beloved finds Styles P and Dave East volleying bars at one another with reckless abandon, spinning tales of criminality and violence of the physical and intellectual variety. While short on features, Beloved includes guest spots from Styles P's The LOX brethren, as well as vocalists Tish Hyman, Jazzy and Dyce Payne, allowing listeners to get an ample dose of the two New Yorkers. The result: one of the more cohesive collaborative efforts of the year.
In an interview with XXL prior to the album's release, Dave East and Styles P spoke on what attracted the two wordsmiths to work together on Beloved. "[Styles] P been my favorite rapper of all time since I fell in love with rap," said Dave, who converted to a writing-free creative process after watching Styles work. P added: "I just love his energy and what he brings to the table and what his bars embody."
XXL dissected Styles P and Dave East's lyrics bar by bar to pick 20 of the most rewind-worthy lyrics from Beloved.
"These pills got these youngins buggin', you'll die for a hunnid-somethin'/So act like you love your life and just relax, cousin/Beloved, I been thuggin' since Carmelo played for the Nuggets/Made a deal with the plug before the label came with a budget/Now the biggest haters I got, they used to say we was cousins/Came from the dungeon, you say you got cocaine, we can cut it" —Dave East
"B-E-L-O-V-E-D, cut poison like BBD/Four dimes like DVD, from Yonkers to CPT/Got my GED in the county, runnin' from TNT/The pussy free but the crack costs, word to the BDP/They was aight but now they washed, legs weaker than CP3/Clutchin' the grip, I ghostride the whip, I'm Keak da Sneak/Yeah, THC, CBD oil, I get the geek/Not Milwaukee but I get to the bucks like the Greek Freak" —Dave East and Styles P.
"Work at the Days Inn, never took a day off/Little homie a buck 50, he gon' let the 'K off/We be spendin' dope money, stuntin' at the playoffs/You be beggin' for budgets, we be waiting for payoffs/A head shot'll turn a nigga brains into steak sauce/These diamonds offset, reach for ’em and I’ma take off/You ain't got the heart to be shining, we take your chain off/Mob shit, after you die, we scratch your name off" —Dave East and Styles P
"If it gangsta, you know that I honor ’em all/Armani tux, looking fresh in Carnegie Hall/Up in Neiman's and Barney's we ball/Got a nice crib, but still keep a couple shooters up in the halls/12 grams, bagged up, had to tuck by the balls/Act like we in the prison yard, don't give a fuck how we ball/Better bring that money now, don’t give a fuck who you call/If they don't answer, this hammer get you in touch with the Lord" —Dave East and Styles P
"Couple niggas owe money, somebody gotta bleed again/Styles don't even write his shit, I pray that I don’t see the pen/Sellin’ crack out the same crib that we was sleepin' in/Dead broke, robbed the DJ ’fore we get the speakers in/Chain like Dasani, my pistol match the Armani/Tryna stay cool like Ghandi, my schemes be ponzi/Same nigga that had Christina Milian in Haji's/Cook you niggas over a grill, this shit Hibachi" —Dave East
"If you don't like me, you don't like me, it's more than enough shots for ya/Smack a nigga, he gon' post it or call the cops on you/You don't know paranoid 'til somebody got the drop on ya/Case don't get dismissed, I know some niggas that shot lawyers/And the DA too, come to the credit, ask the plug, I was preapproved/Real niggas see the mood/Got the strap, say you gon' clap, gotta see it through/Live by my word, that's my word, how G are you?" —Dave East and Styles P
"We got raw plus cook up in this bitch/Master P with the grams, I got the hookup in this bitch/Shots almost hit the passenger, they shook up in the whip/Before the deal, I took a trip to Brooklyn for the stick/Tried to go the college route, but that's on Tookie, I was crip/Weed: The Color Purple, think of Whoopie when it's lit/Tried to start an empire, broke down a cookie in the crib/Toss you off a high bridge then play A Boogie wit'cho bitch" —Dave East
"That's on Malik, you ain't seen nothin' like this/I'm Leonidas, three hundred hitters with me, hit excitin'/You can't imagine walkin' to the store, duckin' indictments/Tatted my face, approachin' my enemies like I'm Tyson/Bright lens, ratties in the car with no license/You know that the block bitin'/I'ma throw the knife to his pipe, I do not like 'em/We gon' cop it all from the Gucci to Nike items, we love some bright items" —Dave East and Styles P
"All my niggas is mad live/Louis luggage is rugged, nigga, I'm mad fly/Used to be a dope boy, right in back of the cab ride/Right around the time when Duke beat the Fab Five/All through high school, nigga, I went to class high/Baptized in fire, a wicked nigga with mad rhymes/Plus where I live in the hood, they sling mad dimes/Hit the park, shoot up the game during halftime/Beamers with the kits, ninas gon' kick if I hit'cha hood/You gon' need FEMA in that bitch" —Styles P
"It's 12 a.m., I'm late up, watchin' Power/It's 1 a.m., I just jumped out the shower/It's 2 a.m., gotta go get some sour/It's 3 a.m., the club still open/It's 4 a.m., I'm drunk and I'm still smokin'/It's 5 a.m., I hit a bitch on camera/It's 6 a.m., she went and got me a sandwich/It's 7 a.m., I get up advantage" —Dave East and Styles P
"Day time, I'm with my daughter gettin' my father on/Night time, linin' up niggas, gettin' my barber on/Wrong time, middle of the summer with a parka on/Right time, my man want it cheaper, I probably bargain for him/Hype time, jump in the crowd with a deuce deuce on me/Life time, keep me a homie I know gon' shoot for me/Date time, tell on they best friends when the cops come/My time, fuck what he talkin' 'bout, let's just rob, son" —Dave East and Styles P
"Got dope for your needles, that Sugar Hill bag/Sold to your auntie, shit make me feel bad/Couldn't get them Jordans to go to school, shit made me real mad/Signed to Def Jam talkin' pounds and I probably still grab/You know what's up, the pistol black and the coke is cut/This ain't a beanie, it's a ski mask, I just rolled it up/Champagne interior, Moet colored the Rover guts/Now I'm on College drinkin' D'usse out a coconut" —Dave East
"Close to the edge/Got that 45 close to your head/You talkin' shit but you ain't never spoke to the dead/I like to chill and get wealthy, just smoke 'til I'm red/You heard they gangsters, heard them niggas spoke to the feds/But I ain't see the paperwork, I keep it quiet 'cause you know how the hater works/It's Dark Force Vader work/Choke a nigga way across the room, that's the way to work" —Styles P
"It's F life or cruise in the F-Type/You could pick or choose, don't wanna lose on your best night/Talk about your best eye, vision with your third/Livin' on the edge but I pivot on the curve/You don't get it, just know I still give it/When you got it from a block where it's still mad guns and narcotics/Hail Marys and All-Fathers, Inshallah, we could fly in, Allah got us" —Styles P
"It's our generation fault, we fumbled everything/'Cause if the youth ain't gettin' ahead that mean we ain't teach 'em right about the 'net and the web/Now this might sound funny, we could brag about money, but lil' homie, that credit ain't second to bread/I wanted to be Scarface then Sosa, as I got grown, thought of Oliver Stone/'Cause if you ain't got a neighbor who could follow you home" —Styles P
"From the land of the lost, where we in and outta court/Shoot shit like it's a sport, niggas hustle from them shores/Keep the hammer in your parka/If you parked by the court, I'm on the back block/Then it's layin' on the porch 'cause I'm probably drunk as shit when i'm sippin' on the quart/Lil' homie got the burner and he'll let that shit scorch/We don't give a fuck, you would swear that we was raised wrong/Momma did good but I need that money yay long" —Styles P
"On Instagram, they postin' hard, meet 'em and they talk soft/Thots, we at the Ramada, models, we at the Waldorf/Get nervous when I see cops, from the dirt, D-Block/This CL Smooth, tryna get high, we got that Pete Rock/Them niggas killed my cousin so won't nothin' make the beef stop/Even your mom see, nigga, I'm concrete, you sheet rock/Cops tried to line us, they stashed coke on the weed block/It been was goin' down me, they had to meet oc/They indicted like three spots" —Dave East
"If I don't know you, you gon' see how I react in the photo/In D.C. with the package on me, meet me at the go-go/Hid the dimes in my drawers, the knicks look like NoDoz/Me and Pooch up in the mornin', we really sold O's/If I'm the next heathen, I'ma make sure I'm the best breathin'/40 on me, no jeans, it's sweat season/I know my past hoes, they regret leavin'/I coulda died in that crash, really regret speedin'" —Dave East
"The Ghost and the paranoid, playin' East shit/Cold-hearted nigga guaranteed to let the heat get/Tryna pray, got some shit to weigh and I'm leafless/If I shoot first, I ain't got to sweat the defense/Used to know the story, I ain't gotta set the pretense/Play the Hudson River, bring the chains and the cement/I'm a gangsta nigga, tell your bitch to suck the semen/We New York giants, I ain't talkin' 'bout the G-men" —Styles P
"On the balcony of the Waldorf/She knows that I'm in to art, but never had a Warhol/But used to sling in the war hall/Ramo from Beat Street, piece in my long hall/She knows the real thing from a cornball/She gon' keep the things wrapped up on a long haul/Fuck around and fuck her all night to a long song/Secret Garden on repeat, we gon' get our porn on" —Styles P