Not many artists can curate a fan base as dedicated as Isaiah Rashad’s. This comes as no surprise, as his debut album, The Cilvia Demo, drew comparisons to works from OutKast, UGK, as well as other Southern rap legends. These similarities lend validity to the claim that Isaiah Rashad is the newest savior of Southern style rap. For all the hype and pressure that comes with that title, Rashad continues to deliver incredible music while remaining humble and relatable. The Sun’s Tirade reminds Isaiah’s fans that he deals with the same vices and problems that many young men encounter. His music is evidence that fame doesn’t exclude him from struggle. In fact, there were moments when Isaiah Rashad’s future with the record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) was uncertain. Isaiah was forced to overcome battles with addiction and the subsequent stress that placed on his creativity. The record label, which boasts other signees such as Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, has released numerous worthy albums this year. TDE added another one with Isaiah Rashad’s album, though the process nearly cost him his deal.
Isaiah sets the tone of the album with the very first track, which is simply a recorded voicemail from a disgruntled label mate who is fed up with his antics. Many of the songs on this album contain verses where Rashad confesses his shortcomings. In “Dressed Like Rappers” Rashad admits, “I’ve been depressed, I hit a wall.” Rashad has never allowed his struggles with depression to deter him, and he bounces back on the next track by displaying his unique versatility. “Park” showcases a never-ending flow that highlights Rashad’s ability to deliver a lethal cadence, while another song, “Don’t Matter”, features Rashad on a beat more up-tempo with rock influences. “AA”, a track with an ethereal cloud rap type beat, creates a vibe similar to Kendrick Lamar’s “A.D.H.D.” and is one of the most ear-pleasing tracks on the album. Throughout, Isaiah Rashad distinguishes himself as one of artist who doesn’t conform to the polygamous lifestyle boasted by many hip-hop stars. Kendrick Lamar echoes that sentiment during a monster feature in the highest chart topper, and arguably best song on the album, “Wat’s Wrong”. The Sun’s Tirade also contains features from label-mates Jay Rock and SZA.
Isaiah Rashad’s signature jazzy, southern style is highlighted on songs such as “Brenda”, in which he reflects on life before the fame, while paying homage to his deceased grandmother. The relationship with his son is another topic that’s very personal to Rashad, as his previous tape mentioned the broken relationship with his own father who left the family. In songs like these, it’s very easy to lump Isaiah Rashad with the “conscious” or “lyrical” sect of hip hop such as Common or Big KRIT. At the same time, he shows love to rap unicorn Lil Yachty, undoubtedly expressing appreciation for Yachty’s ability to make his unique style shine. The album as a whole is great vibe music, and is fitting for almost any setting. The Sun’s Tirade is an impressive follow up to the highly acclaimed Cilvia Demo, and marks Isaiah Rashad’s growth and transition to becoming a more mature artist.