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Isaiah Rashad-The House Is Burning ALBUM REVIEW


Written Before Listen


Isaiah Rashad is a Tennessee rapper that lands on a label that needs no introduction…Top Dawg Entertainment. As a rapper that hasn’t released in 5 years, we’ve waited a long time since “The Suns Tirade”. I always thought Isaiah Rashad was the strongest behind Kendrick on the label due to his ability to feel a beat with his monotone delivery and trippy psychedelic flows. His beat selection is also very vibrant, mellow, smooth and very reminiscent of southern hip hop acts like OutKast, Scarface and UGK. With that being said, here he is after 5 years and we’re finally here. Let’s see what Isaiah and his 5 years have gotten in store for us.


Production


A lot of the production on this album follow a similar vibe to each other. There are a lot of mid-tempo trap beats with a lot of vibey loops, soulful instrumentation and authentic drums. “RIP Young” is the best example of your typical beat on this album with its jazz samples, moderate tempo and jazzy chords. With every beat like that, there is a beat like “Lay Wit Ya” where it goes full on Memphis with its vocal sample, eerie bells and very lo-fi trap drum machine beat. I will say that a majority of the beats are very acceptable. They don’t blow my mind, but it’s surely a vibe.


Features


I wouldn’t say the features carry the album, but they do carry the track they’re on. Depends if the carrying is good or bad. On “From The Garden”, Lil Uzi takes the song to the next level as his quirkiness and color carry the track alongside the banger beat. Duke Deuce on “Lay Wit Ya” KILLS it as he is easily the strongest aspect of the song. Smino goes on “Claymore” and kills his performance and same goes with SZA and 6LACK on “Score”. The only track that has a bad feature is “Wat U Sed” with Iamdoechii. Her over energetic delivery and upbeat persona just doesn’t fit the song as it turns out as one of my least favorite tracks on the album. Other than that one track, every feature does their job.


Aesthetic


Isaiah Rashad throughout the whole album doesn’t showcase any strong lyricism or anything. He is lyrical but goes more for the aesthetic than the bars. He mainly grooves and cruises throughout every track he’s on. He raps like he’s trying to drive around at midnight but in a neighborhood so he has to go 35 mph. Lyrically, he continues that persona as he perceives to be very delicately conceited in his own mind but also subliminally despondent.


Influences

As a rapper, He is really hard to compare him to singular rappers or groups. What I will say is that he is very reminiscent to old school Southern Hip Hop. A lot of OutKast influence, a lot of UGK influence and a lot of Goodie Mob influence but he doesnt really remind me of any of those artists. Just considering the fact that he’s from Tennesee and raps with a very laid back flow over mid-tempo beats really directs you to those artists.


Cons

What I will say first off is that Isaiah’s style is very singular, extremely singular. For someone who enjoys that style, it’s not that big of a trouble but for the length that this album goes for, it gets kind of boring in the middle. I’ll also say that I cant really listen to this album in full a lot. It gets really tiresome and makes you want to do something else at points. Other than that though, Isaiah Rashad is back and in his usual form.


Verdict

Despite my strong gripes, the album is stronger. I like the album and will go back to it more than most hip hop albums this year. I highly recommend it to anyone who liked his previous work and his TDE counterparts.


6/10





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