14 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hailing from Chattanooga, Tenn., emcee Isaiah Rashad is the odd man out among the mostly West Coast Top Dawg label roster, which includes Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul. But other than his hometown, he fits right in: his prodigious understanding of hip-hop history is evident on tracks like “R.I.P. Kevin Miller” and “Brad Jordan”, the former a tribute to Master P’s murdered brother, the latter an ode to seminal Houston rapper Scarface. The album boasts a motley crew of producers, most of them newcomers as well; they have Black Hippy’s soul-funk aesthetic down pat, and Rashad’s rhymes explore the tension between hip-hop’s grown-man stoicism and the anxieties that accompany life’s many crossroads. Best of all, the guy can rap, with his dexterous flow flitting its way between somnolent jazz samples and skittering rhythms. From the melancholy soul-searching of “Tranquility” to the confident g-funk of the title track, Cilvia Demo is an ambitious, honest and unforgettable debut.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hailing from Chattanooga, Tenn., emcee Isaiah Rashad is the odd man out among the mostly West Coast Top Dawg label roster, which includes Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul. But other than his hometown, he fits right in: his prodigious understanding of hip-hop history is evident on tracks like “R.I.P. Kevin Miller” and “Brad Jordan”, the former a tribute to Master P’s murdered brother, the latter an ode to seminal Houston rapper Scarface. The album boasts a motley crew of producers, most of them newcomers as well; they have Black Hippy’s soul-funk aesthetic down pat, and Rashad’s rhymes explore the tension between hip-hop’s grown-man stoicism and the anxieties that accompany life’s many crossroads. Best of all, the guy can rap, with his dexterous flow flitting its way between somnolent jazz samples and skittering rhythms. From the melancholy soul-searching of “Tranquility” to the confident g-funk of the title track, Cilvia Demo is an ambitious, honest and unforgettable debut.

TITLE TIME
1:26
3:07
3:03
3:49
3:18
2:47
1:46
4:19
2:57
3:41
4:20
3:30
4:08
7:06

About Isaiah Rashad

Affiliated with ScHoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar, and the whole Black Hippy crew, rapper Isaiah Rashad hails from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Raised with thoughts of becoming a preacher until his stepbrother's copy of OutKast's ATLiens album turned his head around, Rashad eventually began ditching school to record demos. His big break came in 2012 when he joined Juicy J on the 2012 Smoker's Club Tour, then in 2013 he signed with Top Dawg Entertainment, the label where most of the Black Hippy crew landed. One year later the label released his debut effort, Cilvia: Demo, an EP that debuted at number 40 on the Billboard 200 chart. The Sun's Tirade, his first proper album, followed in 2016. Created throughout a period in which Rashad dealt with numerous personal and professional struggles, it landed at number 17. ~ David Jeffries

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