A fair few RnB and Rap albums have come out over the past month. Frank Ocean dropped his long awaited second studio album, and other heavy hitters like Tory Lanez and Travis Scott also dropped projects at the peak of their game. But one artist, a wordsmith from the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who goes by the name Isaiah Rashad may have just surpassed them all with his debut studio album entitled "The Sun's Tirade".
For those of you are asking yourself who Rashad actually is, you'll most likely remember him as the surprise inclusion at the end of TDE's 2013 BET Cypher. Appearing alongside labelmates Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, AbSoul & Schoolboy Q, the then 23 year old made a huge impression, putting in a performance that proved he wasn't out of place alongside some of our generations most influential rappers.
Since then, he has released an EP, the well received "Cilvia Demo", and appeared on XXL's 2014 Freshman list alongside Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. But for the last year or so, Rashad has largely gone off the radar, only a tour with Schoolboy Q proving to us that he's still around. That was until he announced the release of "The Sun's Tirade", a 17 track album that is sure to establish him as a popular artist in his genre.
As for the overall vibe of the album, "The Sun's Tirade" is very much a more chilled and thoughtful approach than what we're used to nowadays from rappers. Although Rashad isn't yet at the standard of Kendrick, you can still feel the similarities with "Section 80." in some tracks. There are appearances from Kendrick, and another member of Black Hippy in Jay Rock, and their influence shows, seemingly bringing out Rashad's best lyrical performances on the entire project. "Wat's Wrong" is one of the more interesting tunes, featuring soulful vocals from Zacari on the chorus, and two impressive verses from Rashad either side of a typically breathtaking and merciless verse from the aforementioned Kendrick Lamar.
And the feelgood tracks don't stop there, Jay Rock features on the strangely relaxing "Tity & Dolla". You'll be dancing around the house to the rhythm that compliments the slow trumpets and whistles in the background, along with another top class verse from Rashad, as well as Hugh Augustine.
There are also slower tracks that show Rashad's talent in a different light, with a more RnB vibe. Syd the Kid's iconic production shines through on "Silkk Da Shocka", while SZA shows us again why the two artists collaborate so often on "Stuck in the Mud".
Finally, none of that takes away from Rashad's ability to handle a track on his own. His progression as an artist is really shown in the likes of "Free Lunch", "Dressed Like Rappers" and "4r Da Squaw", with a flow that seems to roll off his tongue like its second nature. So as an album, "The Sun's Tirade" is certainly a step in the right direction for Isaiah Rashad. No tune is a waste of space, and that is a huge bonus in an age where albums will come out with only a couple of quality tracks. It's certainly an album that gets better with every listen, and although it may not seem fantastic at first, it definitely has the potential to slowly win over anyone's praise.
Could we be seeing the start of something great from one of TDE's newest recruits? Only time can tell at this point, but Isaiah Rashad is certainly doing himself a favour if he continues to improve like he has recently.
Listen to the project below:
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