Newest Top Dawg Entertainment signee, Isaiah Rashad joins the ranks of Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and SZA, one of the hottest and most out-spoken groups in all of music right now. With 2014’s Cilvia Demo producing a ton of potential for the Tennessee rapper/singer, The Sun’s Tirade is probably the second most-anticipated release from T.D.E. this year, right behind ScHoolboy Q’s Blank Face LP.
Isaiah Rashad, though very TDE sounding, seems to exist in a different mindset than his label-mates. Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q have been very heavily discussing the political and social struggles of today, but Isaiah doesn’t seem to share the same method for creating his music. The Sun’s Tirade is a hazy, drug-infused trip much like A$AP Rocky’s Live.Love.A$AP , sounding more like someone on J. Cole’s Dreamville Records than TDE. Rashad even sounds like a mixture of Kendrick of Cole, with The Sun’s Tirade seeming most similar to Bas’ Too High to Riot, a record off of Dreamville that came out this past March. But Rashad does make a weed-rap, subdued down-tempo album here on The Sun’s Tirade. “I got the music for the vibers” he says on “rosegold.”
He name-drops in “Tity and Dolla” that he had been listening to a lot of Lil Yachty, presumably Lil Boat, but I don’t know how much someone should take notes from someone who doesn’t take notes themselves. But just because his music isn’t politically driven or conceptual of “the times,” it doesn’t mean than The Sun’s Tirade doesn’t still have a slew of great material. Rashad even pokes fun at “finding a topic” on “Dressed Like Rappers” and the last track “Find a Topic,” where he says that money is his favorite topic (how original). Most of the second half of the record is pretty mellow and honestly not that memorable, but the first half holds great tracks like the opener, “4r da Squaw,” the amazing “Free Lunch” (my favorite), “Park,” and “Wat’s Wrong,” a very TDE sounding track with a fantastic Kendrick Lamar feature.
The only thing missing, I think, would be some horns, especially on “4r da Squaw.” I can hear something Terrace Martin-like or The Alchemist-produced beat for ScHoolboy Q’s “Kno Ya Wrong.” The background synth and down-tempo production makes “4r da Squaw” even sound a little like TDE’s version of “Pop Style” by Drake, but maybe that’s too many comparisons to point out just in writing. If every track sounded like “Free Lunch” or “Wat’s Wrong,” or even just that first half of the record, The Sun’s Tirade would have been amazing, but at 17 tracks and a little over an hour long, it seems Rashad can’t really hold an album of this length and style all on his own just yet.