ALBUM REVIEW: Isaiah Rashad – The Sun’s Tirade
by Benny P
As a whole, Chattanooga hip hop artist Isaiah Rashad’s debut album soars. Coming in at over an hour, The Sun’s Tirade is an epic of a project, and one that brings up many complexities. Voicemails from various friends and acquaintances help make up somewhat of a narrative to the album, weaving in and out of the music to make sure the listener is fully aware of the chaos and unsureness that led up to its release. The production on the album is simply gorgeous as well, often blending a warm L.A. sound with soulful, gritty Southern bounce. In the midst of all this chaos stands Rashad himself, ready to declare his tirades and insecurities through one of hip hop’s most interesting voices. His flow is always subject to change, darting off in different directions only to return right where it began. Directly in the listener’s face, setting forth one of 2016’s most intriguing hip hop releases.
Being only 25, Rashad still has a lot of life to live, and many lessons to learn. As do we all. And many times, while seeking answers to our own questions, we realize that all the answers aren’t really out there. We have to work on things one step at a time, and deal with our dark moments and obstacles with strength, blind courage and also fear. Yet, no matter what, it remains constant that the sun will rise the next day and we will have to move on with it. Even if we like it or not. No matter how many setbacks or anxieties Rashad had to deal with leading up to his debut album, he sounds like he is fully aware of what is going on around him. On top of this aged and almost nihilistic awareness, Rashad always sounds ready to (almost with begrudged confidence) tackle these setbacks with both pride AND frustration.
The Sun’s Tirade depicts both a struggle and shine of life. It is dark in some moments, and beams bright in others. It’s all over the place, a bit messy and for those reasons – I love it greatly. Sometimes music cannot be explained clearly, and is almost more of a feeling than a form of art. This album certainly represents one of these instances, and I praise the young artist for putting all of his life out there – both the good and the bad. This will be played for years to come, and in a time where hip hop styles are often replicated, it is incredibly refreshing to hear something so DIFFERENT.