Rising Harlem rapper taps a few New York heavyweights for his Mass Appeal Records mixtape, Hate Me Now. East's profile has been on the rise ever since he was hand-picked by Nas as a Mass Appeal signee. East's gritty street tales and ear for beats has made him New York City's next great hope. On Hate Me Now, East is joined by Nas, Pusha T, Styles P, Tray Pizzy and Jadakiss who contribute over production from Jahlil Beats, Don Cannon and Sean C & LV. East also gets the southern co-sign as DJ Drama hosts as part of his Gangsta Grillz series. Stream the project above.

XXL sat down with East and the Harlemite told us how he linked up with Nas. "I’ve kind of known his brother Jungle just from me being in Queensbridge running around and because I have a lot of family out there," said East. "When I wasn’t in Harlem I would be in Queensbridge, so I met Jungle like that, just being in the Bridge. But he told me, 'Yo, my brother feeling you,' and dudes around him were letting me know that as well, but I still couldn’t believe it.

So one day I got a call from Nas’ manager and he told me he wanted to link up. I then met up with him and my manager and he told me that Nas was a fan of what I was doing and he was really interested in getting down with me so that shit went from there."