It has been a long ride of Isaiah Rashad fans, but at last his new album The House Is Burning is here. It includes four previously released singles “Wat U Sed,” “Lay Wit Ya,” From the Garden” and “Headshots (4 da Locals). His last album The Sun’s Tirade was released in 2016, setting him up for a true breakout as a member of the vaunted TDE crew. However, as he would reveal at the time and during a Fader cover recently, he battled addiction, notably to Xanax and alcohol and eventually had to go to rehab.
As one might imagine, the title of the project is a sort of metaphor for his own life. As his own battles threatened to consume him, he had to tackle them head on or else his house would come crashing down. But he has emerged stronger with an album that is confident, emotional, fragile and expansive – Rashad at his best.
When times are tough, one often goes back to your roots, your home, and that is what he did at times. He sampled Three Six Mafia's "Ridin' N' Da Chevy" and Project Pat's "Cheese and Dope,” while also tapping Memphis Duke Deuce and TGTUT on this project – all of whom are from Tennessee -- his home state.
There are moments that irresistibly smooth like “Headshots” with its soft, jazzy finish and then times when they are 90’s Scarface-like rapping on “True Story” where he links up with Jay Rock and Jay Worthy. He also has some slurred, getting drunk on Saturday R&B raps with “Wat U Sed” for those who want a little different vibes. The TDE fans will go crazy for the collab with SZA and 6LACK, “Score.” The finale "HB2U" feels like the perfect way to end with a little jazz, his own smooth, raps of love and internal reflection and a second part that only adds to the mystique of the album.
Isaiah Rashad has been through a lot in the past five years, seeing his house fall apart and before slowly managing to put it back together. This album is in part that journey. One of the more talented rappers in the game right now is inviting you into his house right now. It may still be a little messy, but it is getting better and it sounds great. Get your copy of The House Is Burning here.