Dave East Talks Modeling Aspirations & Working With No I.D. on His Debut Album

Dave East attends the 2017 Def Jam Upfronts presented by Honda Stage, Pepsi, Courvoisier, and True Religion at Kola House NYC on May 9, 2017 in New York City.
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Def Jam

Dave East attends the 2017 Def Jam Upfronts presented by Honda Stage, Pepsi, Courvoisier, and True Religion at Kola House NYC on May 9, 2017 in New York City. 

In hopes of cajoling Dave East into a modeling career, Tyra Banks shot her proverbial shot last week on Instagram after coming across a picture of the Harlem star online. After his performance for Def Jam Upfronts Tuesday night (May 9), East told Billboard that he's heavily considering taking a leap into the world of modeling. 

"I'm about to model, man! Why not?" East said at New York City's Kola House. "I ain't gon' be butt naked at no bus stops or nothing like that. Anything I'm gonna do is gonna be me. It might be something out of the norm of what you think I'mma do, but I'm gonna always twist it and do that s--t my way. I'm never gonna sell my soul or violate myself for no amount of dollars or fame. It'll always be, 'I'm definitely gonna look into that.' You got Tyra Banks -- that's America's Next Top Model and the number one model ever -- saying you should model."

Last weekend, Banks stirred the pot when she posted a picture of East showcasing his Colgate smile on camera. “So @daveeast, why you out here making music but not modeling? #MaleModel," she captioned her post. Flabbergasted by Banks's message, East coolly responded with a quip of his own. “Just Tryna Be Like Lil Penny @myfabolouslife," he wrote under a picture of Banks gripping onto a Penny Hardaway doll. According to East, Banks's stamp of approval was more than enough for him to consider taking a chance on modeling.  

"Everybody was writing the s--t. I was like, 'What the f--k did Tyra Banks say about me," East told Billboard. "Then, I went on her page and she posted a picture of me. She was like, 'I know you make music, right?' Why you not modeling?' I was like, 'That's crazy.' I said, 'Yo. I got my booking here. Call my agencies right now.' Mad people be saying that to me. Women say that to me. Like, 'Oh you should model.' That's like Steven Spielberg telling you you should act. You're gonna go do a movie."

Don't fret Dave East fans -- he isn't retiring from music anytime soon. In fact, he's currently piecing together his debut album, which is slated for a fourth quarter release under Def Jam. 

"That s--t is looking crazy," says East regarding his forthcoming album. "I've been locked in with No I.D. That's my s--t. I grew up on Beans, Kiss, Cam, and s--t like that. So, that's my sound. I call this the turn-up times. I don't care about all that. You can't wake up and want to do that 24 hours. So, I wanna be that dude that's creating music for those real life situations."

To get his feet wet, East performed a new song at Def Jam Upfronts titled "Thank You." According to the "Paper Chasin'" MC, he scripted the record with the intentions of thanking his detractors, rather than scolding them.

"A record like 'Thank You' is positive and as good as it feels, it's real s--t," he expressed. "A lot of people have made it, but I had to be thankful for my situation because if n---as ain't hate how they were hating, I wouldn't have the same wanna s--t on and prove [mentality]. So, that really created a different drive.'"

Next stop for East will be a performance at Hot 97's Summer Jam on June 11, as he'll grace the festival stage alongside Lil Yachty, D.R.A.M., Young M.A, Casanova, Phresher, Don Q, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie