Isaiah Rashad Albums, Ranked

Isaiah Rashad has solidified himself in the industry as a formidable force. Here’s a look at his studio albums and where they rank.

BYJosh Megson
Isaiah Rashad Albums, Ranked

Isaiah Rashad has possibly had one of the most underrated three album runs of any artist of the last decade. The Chattanooga native is signed to Top Dawg Entertainment along with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and SZA. Rashad’s debut solo album, Cilvia Demo, was released in 2014, followed by his sophomore album, The Sun’s Tirade, in 2016. He went on a five-year hiatus from music before dropping his third album, The House is Burning, in 2021. Let’s examine how these three albums compare within Rashad’s discography.

3. The House is Burning (2021)

Rashad’s most recent album, The House is Burning falls at No. 3 on this list. It's not because of its pitfalls but because of the strength of Rashad’s previous two albums. The House is Burning’s sound, like all of Rashad’s albums, is true to his Southern upbringing. The album is soulful, melodic, and trap-heavy. Rashad has become a savant when mixing these two elements, and The House is Burning features some of Rashad’s hardest songs to date.

Tracks such as “From the Garden” feat. Lil Uzi Vert and “Lay Wit Ya” feat. Duke Deuce diverges from the more mellow atmosphere of many of Rashad’s previous songs. It shows the Tennessee rapper’s range in different genres of Hip-Hop. Rashad also pays homage to veteran Southern MCs such as Goodie Mob and Three 6 Mafia. He even samples Project Pat’s “Cheese and Dope” on "RIP Young."

The House is Burning’s pace does slow down within the middle of the project. Songs such as “Claymore” and “All Herb” feat. Amindi are more melodic and contain a sound reminiscent of R&B. However, Rashad ends the project with two of the strongest songs on the album, “THIB” and “HB2U”. The album also features fellow Top Dawg conglomerates SZA and Jay Rock, who have each been featured on Isaiah Rashad albums.

2. Cilvia Demo (2014)

Rashad’s debut album, Cilvia Demo, contains rawness and hunger. He established his signature sound and swagger throughout the record. Prior to Cilvia Demo’s release, many TDE fans were unsure of his placement on the label. He was seen as the odd man out due to his geographic location. In 2014, TDE’s growth in popularity was mainly due to the success of the members of Black Hippy: Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and Ab-Soul. All four artists hailed from Los Angeles, California. However, Rashad proved he belonged amongst the upper echelon of MCs and solidified his place.

Perhaps Rashad’s greatest consecutive six-track run follows the opening song, “Hereditary." The first half of the album immediately put fans on notice. Rashad demonstrated his expertise in combining smooth flows, atmospheric beats, and Southern aesthetics. This Is heard on “Webbie Flow (U Like),” “Cilvia Demo,” and “R.I.P. Kevin Miller.” TDE newcomer at the time, SZA, appeared on “Ronnie Drake” and “West Savannah.” “West Savannah” is one of the most soulful and atmospheric tracks of Rashad’s entire discography. He references Outkast’s first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, in the duetted chorus with SZA.

Cilvia Demo is at times rough around the edges, as expected from a debut. Yet, it established Rashad as one of the most compelling voices in Hip-Hop and confirmed his place among the elite.

1. The Sun’s Tirade (2016)

Arguably, Rashad’s best album to date is his 2016 sophomore project, The Sun’s Tirade. During the time of its release, Rashad was struggling with drug addiction and was almost dropped from TDE. Though the album reflects his vices, it does so in an amazingly beautiful and poetic way. The Sun’s Tirade is definitely Rashad’s most lyrically profound album as he examines topics such as race, depression, and addiction.

The ninth track, “Tity and Dolla,” also shows Rashad at his hardest. The song features Hugh Augustine and Jay Rock and feels like a celebration of Southern rap from a previous generation. “Stuck in the Mud” featuring SZA is a seven-minute song that goes into detail about Rashad’s struggles. “Stuck in the Mud” is one of the most poetic songs on the album.

As with Rashad’s other albums, The Sun’s Tirade ends on a high note with “by george (outro)” and “Find a Topic (homies begged)”. Overall, The Sun’s Tirade is Rashad at his best and will arguably go down as a sleeper album turned classic. It is already extremely well-remembered only seven years after its release.

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