unofficial import on black vinyl - Debut 2016 studio album from American rapper RASHAD now on vinyl. Features guest appearances from KENDRICK LAMAR, DEACON BLUES, JAY ROCK, SZA and many more.
Chattanooga MC Isaiah Rashad wears his anxieties. They bleed through the rap revelry in verse, as if they could consume him at any moment. Is he about to stunt, or is he about to self-destruct? It makes his songs more like inkblots in a Rorschach test: What you see in them may depend on where you currently are on the spectrum—longing, laboring, or lost. Rashad appeared fully-formed on his debut Cilvia Demo as a young rap star in the making constantly humanizing himself before eyewitnesses with bars like “I done grown up for my child’s sake.” It was clear early on that he wasn’t afraid to publicly grapple with his demons. “Now, I’m praying that I make it to 25/They be calling doctors for my health/And ‘no’ is kinda hard to say to drugs/’Cause I been having problems with myself,” Rashad rapped on “Heavenly Father.” He turned 25 this year, but it was a rocky road getting here.
In the two quiet years since Isaiah Rashad released Cilvia, his inactivity fed his addiction, and vice versa. During a stint on Schoolboy Q’s Oxymoron tour in 2014, he got hooked on a potent brew of Xanax and alcohol, a concoction used to numb himself during an ongoing battle with depression. Drug dependency threatened to derail a promising career and almost getting him dropped from Top Dawg Entertainment on a handful of occasions. “I can’t admit, I’ve been depressed/I hit a wall, ouch,” he raps on “Dressed Like Rappers” from his long-awaited follow-up, The Sun’s Tirade. It’s an album that examines the strain of family ties, smalltown spokesmanship, and self-awareness. The Sun’s Tirade is brutally honest and open, a record saddled by substance abuse and melancholia. These are soul-baring cuts lined with pent-up emotions from the tour, which “BDay” hints at in a single lyric: “How do you tell the truth to a crowd of white people?”
Fittingly, though, Rashad really finds his voice on The Sun’s Tirade, an album filled with the tensions caused by a cycle of self-loathing and self-discovery. The tension is usually built up in his cadences with his uncanny sense for when to give and when to pull back. His voice can deflate in an instant or shrink to a mumble or mushroom into singsong. Raps tumble, sputter, and croak, stretching his timbre’s range and depth. On “Tity and Dolla,” he tries on a slippery inflection that’s whiny and exaggerated, which later morphs into something snappier at the octave change. His voice nearly cracks on “Park” as he staggers through verse rapping quick hitters like “I’m tryna be Nicki Minaj/Rich as a bitch in the drop” and “Bitch have you tutored the pastor/I know the root and the master/I know the coupe was a casket.” “Rope // rosegold” showcases flows on opposite ends of the spectrum, the first an impassioned croon, the second something more intoned, canceling out the animated performance. On every line, he works toward lucidity.
|A1||where u at? |
|A2||4r Da Squaw |
|A3||Free Lunch |
|A4||Rope // rosegold (feat. SiR) |
|A5||Wat’s Wrong (feat. Zacari & Kendrick Lamar) |
|B2||Bday (feat. Deacon Blues & Kari Faux) |
|B3||Silkk da Shocka (feat. Syd) |
|B4||Tity and Dolla (feat. Hugh Augustine & Jay Rock) |
|C1||Stuck in the Mud (feat. SZA) |
|D1||Dressed Like Rappers |
|D2||Don’t Matter |
|D4||by george (outro) |
|D5||Find a Topic (homies begged) |