Isaiah Rashad’s The Sun’s Tirade is an attempt to find his voice and presence
The Sun’s Tirade is Isaiah Rashad’s personal diary of confliction and pain
TDE’s Isaiah Rashad attempts to shine with The Sun’s Tirade
Top Dawg Entertainment is one of the biggest labels in the music industry. With a mega-superstar and many stars on their roster, it’s hard for smooth Chattanooga, TN rapper Isaiah Rashad to get attention and shine. But his debut mixtape was received very well critically and by fans, which launched anticipation for his debut album. The Sun’s Tirade is a combination of hazy, drugged out production fused with lyrics about the rapper lifestyle but with a different twist. Instead of glorifying the life, Rashad looks into the negative effects of fame, mainly the amount of women and drugs.
Rashad admittedly dealt with depression and relied on a deadly dose of alcohol and Xanax:
“Pop a Xanny, make your problems go away,” he says on “Stuck in the Mud.” On “Bday,” Rashad says, “Oh believe I feel great today, I can’t help but just pour my drink // ‘cause they keep talkin’ to a n—a // Yeah sometimes I be talking back.” This downhill lifestyle almost lead to his outing of the TDE label.
One of the standouts on the album is “Wat’s Wrong.” Over rattling drums and a sample of Stanley Cowell’s “Here I Am,” the 25-year-old rapper and TDE front man Kendrick Lamar go bar for bar. Rashad continues rapping about his substance abuse problem:
“Oh you got two Xannies, oh just don’t forget me // Love me for the moment, hug me like a sibling.” While Lamar raps about his rise in the rap game and boasts, “I told Zay, I’m the best rapper since 25 // Been like that for a while now, I’m 29.” The unknown Zacari contributes with a beautiful hook which turns a good song into an amazing song.
As the album continues, Rashad looks at the topic of women. On the laid back “Tity and Dolla,” he proclaims women are no good but he can’t resist, “B—–s gon’ be b—–s but I love them hoes // Just call it before you come, just call before you go.” The Syd tha Kyd-assisted “Silkk da Shocka” has Rashad remember one of his past lovers:
“I fell in love with your thighs, I learned it’s more than your hips,” he says over an atmospheric, bass laden instrumental.
The 17-track album definitely has a certain sound to it, which makes it cohesive sonically, but can also lead to repetitiveness and lack of variety. A lot of songs sound similar, with some songs being just simply forgettable. Rashad’s slurred, lazy delivery at times also blends into the production poorly and is sometimes inaudible, especially mixed with the heavy basslines.
Although another highlight of the album is “A lot,” the Mike WiLL Made-It and Pluss crafted track has a heavy deep 808 combined with stuttering drums that is the most “trap” sounding song on the track list. Rashad sounds menacing with his voice ran through a filter throughout.
The shadow casted by Kendrick Lamar over his fellow TDE members is one that might be never able to run from. Rashad with this album attempts to carve out his own voice and presence. And in a way he does, but not on a level that will lead to him becoming a superstar. The Sun’s Tirade is good, but not spectacular. With his next project, Rashad should look to shoot for the stars, if he doesn’t, he’ll just be another rapper in the sea chasing after the big fish.
Grade – 7.5 / 10
Favorite Tracks – Wat’s Wrong(Ft. Zacari, Kendrick Lamar), Stuck in the Mud (ft. SZA), A lot, Brenda, Find a Topic (Homies Begged)
Least Favorite Tracks – Park, AA, By George Outro
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