Published Sep 02, 2016Years from now, when Isaiah Rashad's catalogue is more expansive, The Sun's Tirade will not stand out as his best. But after nearly three years of maddening silence, during which the Chattanooga, TN emcee battled addictions to drugs and alcohol that threatened to extinguish his budding career, his latest effort is a moderate redemption.
Tempered and much more subdued than his masterful 2014 EP, Cilvia Demo, The Sun's Tirade highlights all of the winsome qualities that set the TDE signee apart from his powerhouse labelmates. His gift for melody and his soulful, gravelly Southern lilt shine throughout the album, especially on the smooth and introspective "4r Da Squaw," the bluesy "Rope" and "Silkk Da Shocka," which features supporting vocals from the multi-talented Syd tha Kid. Once again, Rashad and label mate SZA exhibit flawless chemistry on "Stuck in the Mud," and "What's Wrong," Rashad's first collaboration with Kendrick Lamar (and Los Angeles crooner Zacari) is an easy win.
But Tirade isn't without its shortcomings. "A lot," Mike Will's contribution to the album, sounds forced and out of place, and although no other track on the album is as poor as that one, not even the best songs on the project exhibit the same kind of staying power as Rashad's earlier work.
Perhaps Cilvia Demo set the bar impossibly high for the elusive rapper. Or perhaps Rashad needs more time to shake his demons before delivering the crown jewel of his career. Either way, The Sun's Tirade is pleasant, but it's not timeless. (Top Dawg)