After a wait of almost three years since the January 2014 release of his acclaimed Cilvia Demo, Isaiah Rashad has presented his anticipated debut studio album, The Sun’s Tirade.
The title of the album is derived from Rashad’s perception that living in L.A. can sometimes feel like one prolonged day, mostly due to the weather, which took some adapting to when he moved from Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The first aspect of The Sun’s Tirade that captures the attention is most definitely the production. Rashad has recalled some of the producers that helped mould Cilvia Demo, ensuring that he recaptures that sound that was so popular from that project. The most obvious examples are ‘Free Lunch’, ‘Bday’ & ‘Tity & Dolla’, as the album mixes boom-bap tendencies with the modern trap sound throughout, creating an expansion of what Cilvia Demo had done previously.
Due to the immaculate production demonstrated on the aforementioned tracks, it comes as no surprise that they also act as some of the brightest highlights on the project, with the album’s lead single, ‘Free Lunch’, definitely outlining Rashad’s talents. Further instances can be heard on ‘Wat’s Wrong’, which features Zacari and another impressive verse from Kendrick Lamar. Despite many comparisons between Rashad and Lamar since the former signed to TDE, hearing their verses side by side show they have discernable differences.
Joining Kendrick Lamar as featured guests on the album are fellow TDE label mates, Jay Rock & SZA, but there is no sign of ScHoolboy Q or Ab-Soul, while The Internet’s Syd lends a hand on ‘Silkk Da Shocka’. The tracks ‘Brenda’ and ‘Find A Topic’, which appear as the album draws to a close, similarly make for some of Rashad’s best work on the project.
Rashad’s lyrical content is driven by the transitional mind-set that seems to afflict many people in their early 20’s. The almost erratic way he expresses his thoughts should be relatable for listeners of a similar age, as that’s often how their thoughts are portrayed in their own minds, supplementing this with various catchy hooks.
With 17 tracks (16 + an interlude intro), there is space for potential duds, and they come in the form of ‘Don’t Matter’. It’s a track that can be likened to Joey Badass’ ‘Teach Me’, because of its up-tempo, pop feel, and it seems out of place on an otherwise very cohesive album. In addition to this, listeners may be underwhelmed by Rashad’s performance on the Mike Will produced, ‘A Lot’.
Overall, The Sun’s Tirade is a very credible debut from Isaiah Rashad, substantiating TDE’s decision to make him part of their roster. Despite the time that has passed since Cilvia Demo, Rashad has managed to maintain the energy that made that project special, making The Sun’s Tirade certainly worth the wait.