Isaiah Rashad’s debut full length LP, ‘The Sun’s Tirade’ is a confident and assured release from the TDE rapper. For those unfamiliar with the artist, Isaiah blends a unique introspective flow similar to up and coming counterparts Joey Badass, Vince Staples, Vic Mensa and Earl Sweatshirt. While he may share similarities with these talented MCs Rashad maintains his own unique flow and style.
There seems to be a growing trend in hip-hop where self-aware/introspective rapping is becoming cool. Rashad follows this trend spitting about topics such as substance abuse, depression and anxiety throughout the LP. Other artists come across as forced when speaking about such issues, but there is a genuineness and frailty to Rashad that comes across in ‘The Sun’s Tirade’. The album also deals with the rapper’s struggle throughout the recording process and the fear he may be dropped by his label.
‘Wat’s Wrong’, one of the highlights of the album sees Kendrick Lamar and Isaiah Rashad joining forces for the first time. There’s an instant musical chemistry between the two that is hopefully the start of many more collaborations in the future. As on every song Kendrick Lamar features, he steals the limelight on ‘Wat’s Wrong’, in typical Kendrick style. The moment you hear his voice spit the opening line of any verse you know it’s gonna be special- and this song is no different.
There are no real instant, immediately accessible commercial hits on ‘The Sun’s Tirade’, (‘Free Lunch’ and ‘Wat’s Wrong’ are the closest thing to it) but this is by no means a bad thing. In fact if anything, it adds to the flow and sequencing of the album as a whole. ‘Tity and Dolla’ even specifically references this and calls this out. You feel as if the rapper came out with a pop-rap track a-la Drake or Fetty Wap it’d be betraying his artistic vision (no hate on Drizzy and Fetty though, there’s room for all of them in the rap game).
‘Stuck in the Mud’- a track split into two halves really stands out on the LP, namely the second half with Rashad’s earnest lyricism combining with a well crafted beat. It flows nicely into the distinctive Mike Will Made It produced, ‘A Lot’. On ‘A Lot’ the beat goes hard, but the rapper’s verses go even harder. Other album highlights include ‘Dressed Like Rappers’ and the speedy and bombastic ‘Don’t Matter’.
‘The Sun’s Tirade’ is an accomplished debut from a young artist with a bright rap career ahead of him. They say it’s the golden age for television but with the current state of the rap game, the new age of hip hop sees rappers like Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino, Joey Badass, Kendrick Lamar and Isaiah Rashad making their voices heard.
‘The Sun’s Tirade’ is out now via TDE.
This Isaiah Rashad article was written by Jac Manuell, a GIGsoup contributor