Isaiah Rashad – 4r Da Squaw

Let me start this off by saying I loved Isaiah Rashad’s first tape, Cilvia Demo. If you haven’t already listened to it, let me just say it’s a gem. The raspy vocals compliment the dark yet smooth tone of the music and melodically it has some catchy hooks throughout. His long period of inactivity (not as long as Frank Ocean’s but still) since this made me like many others, fiend for more of his music. Then he released “Free Lunch” as the lead single off of his new album, The Sun’s Tirade. I could talk at length about just how much I enjoyed the first single but then just before the album came, the video for a single entitled “4r Da Squaw” dropped.

The concept for the video is really interesting, with Isaiah and his son, Yari, at the beach. It has, what I assumed to be the bank balance of both of them as well as the other passers-by above their heads, with Isaiah’s at $0.00 (considering the struggles he documented going through prior to his album, you can make of that what you will). The video is below and I highly recommend watching it, even just for the execution of the concept.

And then there’s the song itself. It has everything I loved about Cilvia Demo, with the slightly raspy vocals and smooth instrumental. The lyrics are poignant, touching on his battle with alcoholism and contrasting it with the sounds of his child, reminding him of his role as a father (also including a very clever line involving Talcum Powder). Through the track, he eloquently glides through topics such as his relationship with his mother, his detractors and his recent success. The track has a strange dichotomy between the sombre lyrics regarding his drinking problems and the somewhat positive lyrics regarding his sense of identity and self-worth later in the track. Overall, I loved this track and it is one of the highlights off of what is a superb album. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I strongly recommend it.

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