Jakob's Album Reviews

Words About Music

Isaiah Rashad – “Cilvia Demo” – ALBUM/MIXTAPE REVIEW

Isaiah Rashad “Cilvia Demo”

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Top Dawg Entertainment has been at the forefront of great hip hop for the past couple years now, and their most famous signee Kendrick Lamar is almost solely responsible for the attention they’ve gotten. Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q both have some notable releases under their belts, and as far as I know Jay Rock has not released a proper studio album. For their latest member, though, they went southeast instead of continuing to draw from the west coast. Isaiah Rashad has a lot of eyes on him for belonging to such a prestigious group of up-and-comers and soon-to-be legends, but he’s definitely proven something with his debut mixtape/album “Cilvia Demo.”

Now, unfortunately, “Cilvia Demo” is not the greatest hip hop release to debut with. The production leaves much to be desired and a lot of the subject matter is repetitive, which can get to be annoying. Also, Rashad has a voice that doesn’t distinct him much from Kendrick, though you can tell that he wants to be his own person. There were seriously moments where I thought I was listening to Kendrick, like that’s how similar these two sound at times. But for the most part, I do think that Rashad is a capable rapper that has the potential to release something as moving as “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” or as anticipated as “Oxymoron.”

“Cilvia Demo” tells quite a bit about Isaiah Rashad. We can establish that he’s a young man who’s father was some sort of addict. Rashad harbors quite a bit of hatred for his father which is shown on many of the songs here. He’s also a man in love who’s expecting a son, though I think at this point his girlfriend has given birth. But, like I said, it doesn’t really go beyond the basics. I mean, we also know he admires several southern rappers like Outkast, Master P, and Scarface, all of which he mentions or alludes to several times on “Cilvia Demo.” But again, this album is nothing if not repetitive. Considering the hype that was sort of thrust upon him when he signed to TDE, I was hoping for a bit more. But, I think I’ll give Rashad a couple more chances to really prove himself as an MC. Just give him some good beats, for goodness sakes.

All things said, Isaiah actually is a fascinating rapper. While his cadence matches up with Kendrick (and a bit of Chance the Rapper) a bit too much, I do like the way he says what he says. He’s got a pretty cool flow that I don’t really have any real complaints about and his choruses are catchy and interesting, though some reviewers will say otherwise. As I’ve said, the possibility of Isaiah Rashad being a household name is up in the air at this point. “Cilvia Demo” is promising but not quite the masterpiece that is expected of new rappers these days. He’s got potential and some big names to back him up, but until he releases some more music and gets some better producers, I think his future remains to be seen.

SCORE – 6.7

FAVORITE TRACKS – Cilvia Demo, Ronnie Drake, West Savannah, Modest, Heavenly Father, Banana, Shot You Down

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