Almost 3 years after his last project Cilvia Demo, Isaiah Rashad is back with the highly anticipated sequel The Sun’s Tirade.
where u at?
The album starts with a skit; a phone call from TDE co-leader, Dave Free. He goes on about not having Isaiah’s work yet and pokes fun at Rashad not caring about getting his project out. Most likely a fabricated voicemail, Rashad uses the call to explain the delay and tone of the album – finding himself after battling depression, anxiety, and heavy drug abuse.
4r Da Squaw – Produced by FrancisGotHeat. (I got some good stuff on Francis later. He’s come a loooong way too!)
Off the bat I love this beat. Nice and laid back. Perfect for Zay’s style and a great track to start off the album. In the song Zay finds reassurance in his life choices and seems pretty optimistic.
The hook reveals a lot about Zay; he has a son and having his son has helped him sober up to life in general and his life isn’t so bad as long as he can make ends meet. Early in his career he was homeless and travelled from one place to another based off of where he could record.
The worst part about this song is the stretch to make ‘can’t’ and ‘want’ rhyme but oh well. You do what you gotta do.
Free Lunch – Produced by Cam O’bi. Another great beat for Zay. Continues on the really chill and relaxing vibe. That bass line is phenomenal. Lyrically this song is kinda all over the place but in a good way.
Zay admitted to making the hook first and wanting to use the word ‘scrub’ a lot. The song works as he bounces around repping his family and friends. We get a taste of his past through these short anecdotal verses.
Rope // rosegold – Produced by The Antydote & J.LBS.
The bass lines do it again. Got some funky vocal effects going here that make this track feel a little bit spacey and disorienting. There’s a lot of internal dialogue happening on this track – Zay talks about connecting with his dad for the first time since his father left Zay as a child. The rope metaphor here is getting enough rope to pull yourself out of a shit situation or to just give up and take yourself out of the misery. rosegold is about the other side where you have things to temporarily fill the void and keep you distracted.
Wat’s Wrong – Produced by D. Sanders & Al B Smoov.
Some quality rapping on this track. Not sure who recorded their verse first but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some back and forth until the two felt okay with their verse in comparison to the others. The flows are crazy and Kendrick goes innn. You know that thing that they say when you surround yourself with people better than you to bring yourself up to their level? There’s some of that going on here.
Park – Produced by D. Sanders & Park Ave.
Zay has fun on this fun and stunts a little bit while still staying true to some of his core values. He knew he would make it, he goes for the feelings rather than the thirst, and he’s better than his competition because he’s willing to grind for it and he has quality over quantity. Refreshing take on your typical boast track.
Bday – Produced by Ktoven & Deacon Blue
Really mellow and soft spoken track. references to his drinking habit and how you have a choice between gangbanging and a ‘shot at the moon’. Not my favorite.
Silkk da Shocka – Produced by Steve Lacy
Syd da Kid and Isaiah sing together over another mellow beat about loooove. The track moves from Zay knowing he’s got love from his girl to him talking about how making it is strenuous on their relationship. He takes the hook the first time and presents it as him knowing he has the love but after the second verse the hook becomes something different; it’s now about his insecurity in knowing that his girl still loves him with everything going on.
Really nice smooth track that ends with another phone skit from Dave saying Isaiah is scatterbrained.
Tity and Dolla – Produced by Props & Crooklin
The track picks up the pace and mood of the album from the past few tracks. I like how the track double times and the beat switches around a lot. Lets everyone spit and flow on the track. Some Outkast references here too. Jay Rock and Hugh Augustine add their stories to the track and ultimately everyone agrees that they are on the up and up.
Stuck in the Mud – Produced by Crooklin & D.Sanders
SZA is back for the collab. This tracks about being ‘stuck in the mud’ which could be a metaphor for Zay’s past drug habit. I highly doubt its about his car getting stuck in the mud. Lots of references to bud and booze. Chill and vulnerable kinda track.
..then there’s a second track inside this one. Seems to be from the perspective of an Isaiah that’s succumb to his demons. Again you have the vocals slightly distorted to symbolize the grittier drugged out Isaiah. Interesting to think about whether this was recorded while under the influence or after the whole ordeal to mimic how he would act under the influence.
A lot – Produced by Pluss & Mike Will
Unusual collab with Zay rapping over a trap beat from Mike Will but it works out. He raps in a slightly distorted mumble about his wants and needs; women and cars. In short, life is good but it could be better and flashier.
AA – Produced by DZ Onlybeats & D. Sanders
Zay sounds kinda like future on this one. In the hook he’s talking to his girl about how he can’t really remember how he ended up at her place. He’s gotta cup of lean like Gucci and he’s burnt out from all the drugs. The track title also gives away that most of this was the lead up to him getting help. AA = Alcoholics Anonymous duh.
Dressed Like Rappers – Produced by D. K. the Punisher
Google did not help me figure out whatever that pitched down vocal sample is so if you found out let me know. Zays rapping over the beat that makes my head bop about being in control of his life and not being ashamed of loving it. Then he goes and admits all of his troubles i.e depression.
The line that really sticks out is ‘little boys dressed like rappers, can that road make them daddies?’ as in these young guys are hitting the scene and blowing up but does it ever help them find the maturity needed to be a father?
Hilarious outro by Schoolboy Q about him realizing how old (or young) Zay is.
Don’t Matter – Produced by Carter Lang & The Antydote
Really upbeat track – makes it feel like Zay is aware that he’s on the road to recovery. He uses religious metaphors and sexual details to create a stark contrast on this track.
Brenda – Produced by Chris Calor
A song dedicated to his grams. This tracks relatable cause he’s talking about working a shitty job that pays $10 and change and just living and being in the grind of it all. Super smooth track. One of my top 5.
By George (Outro) – Produced by Jowin
Your usual slow jam by Zaywop. The droning bass under the drums really just makes this track vibe for me. He reminisces about when he used to procrastinate a lot and how he feels nostalgic. He’s just feeling himself on this one and it comes off as warm and authentic.
Find a Topic (homies begged) – Produced by J. LBS & Free P
The bonus track! When I first heard it I thought I was hearing Free Lunch again and had to check. This song is also in my top 5. I’m a sucker for the basslines. Important to note that after Dave said on the skit ‘find a topic’ Zay raps about money being his favorite topic.
Really solid project. Very glad to see that Isaiah is not the runt of the TDE litter here and even better to know that he’s only gonna get better since he’s recovering from his past. I’d give this an 8/10. None of the features seemed out of place. The beat selection is great – he definitely knows his own sound. His rapping is really good – he’s honed his flow and navigates around beats effortlessly. Sometimes he can spit really rhythmically and sometimes he can singsong rap. Looking forward to what’s next, Isaiah.