“I got it tatted on me, ‘born broke, die rich,’” said rising rapper Dave East, lifting his white T-shirt and revealing the cursive letters marked below his navel.
The 31-year-old New York City native, born David Brewster Jr., came from humble beginnings, becoming a Crip as a teen, and later, facing a stint in prison for selling drugs. Following the 2010 release of his first mixtape, “Change of Plans,” and the broader attention that followed with 2014’s “Black Rose,” he’s been forging a different path and is now signed to Def Jam Recordings. With 2.4 million Instagram followers and millions of YouTube hits on each music video (“Perfect,” featuring Chris Brown, has 34 million views alone), East is one to watch.
“Them four words mean everything to me,” he continued. It’s also the title of a 2016 collaborative EP with Philadelphia rapper Kur. “You’re born a certain way, but you don’t gotta die like that.”
All eyes were on the rising rapper as he held court on Fairfax Avenue, smoking a joint in front of Diamond Supply Co., where he celebrated his collaboration with the streetwear and skateboard label on Thursday evening.
Inside the shop, “born broke, die diamond” read the $ 36 T-shirts hanging
Follow WWD on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.