Jay Electronica & Dave East Have Experienced Homelessness. Now They Help Others

As December rolls in, many Americans across the country are experiencing the chill and snowy weather of the year’s winter months. While many are lucky enough to warm themselves up during these cold, long nights, there are an estimated half a million people in the U.S. who are experiencing homelessness on any given night. In New York City, homelessness is especially prominent. With over 8.5 million people currently residing within the city borders, 1 in every 121 is homeless. To combat this mounting issue, some of Hip-Hop’s most prominent members are stepping in.

In partnership with New York City-based non-profit organization, Hoodies For The Homeless, Mass Appeal Records conjures the assistance of Jay Electronica and resident artists Dave East and 070 Phi to create their first collaborative record, “No Hoodie (Nothin’ To Lose).” With 070 Phi on the hook, Jay Elec’ and East deliver the cold hard truth on wax, rapping passionately about the harsh realities of living on the streets.

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Before his Rap career took flight, Dave East struggled with homelessness. Over a dark, icy instrumental, Dave East opens up about this difficult time in his life, “I’m scared of the winter, New York can get colder than cold / Ask God to just open my soul / F*ck the system, no I don’t wanna vote / Not to mention I do not own a coat (Nah) / It’s freezin’ my ni**a / I don’t got cash and no credit, no Amex or Visa, my ni**a / Slept in my Jeep with the heat on, my ni**a / I’m starvin’ for real ain’t no secret, my ni**a / I was just tr’yna get my hands on the purp’, my man just got hit I seen that on a shirt / And I got a felony, it’s gon’ be hard to get work / F*ck the judge, I hope your honor get murked / Nobody helpin’ me, nobody there for me / Think of my mama, know she said a prayer for me / Pedestrians lookin’ so scared of me / Think I need therapy, please before somebody bury me.”

Jay Electronica, who was also homeless, follows East’s heartfelt bars with a series of his own. Jay brings to light the causes behind the issue at hand, “Walk the streets with no face or name / Nothin’ left to do but embrace the pain / Wandering through this wilderness, where my only companion is hate and shame / Like Johnny Blaze, it’s f*ck the world / While I walk the line like Johnny Cash / Trapped between this light and dark like Johnny Depp was in Donnie Bras’ / Reagan to Trump, ain’t nothin’ changed / Politics is for the politicians / Full meltdown in this melting pot / While I roam the block with no pot to piss in / Guide me O, Thou Great Jehovah surrounded by these snakes and cobras / Constantly I’m getting high, ’cause this life is too harsh to face it sober / One nation under God, allegedly indivisible / Welcome to the American Dream where the homeless live invisible.”

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Last year, Styles P and Dave East performed a set at Irving Plaza in New York City in support of Hoodies For The Homeless. Since 2015, the organization has collected and provided over 60,000 hoodies and warm clothing to homeless in New York City at a street value of over 1.2 million dollars.

This year, Dave East released Survival. The Def Jam/Mass Appeal LP features Nas, DJ Premier, E-40, and Fabolous, among others.