I posted a comment recently saying that this new wave of TDE is like the second wave of Wu-Tang as they were mostly shit. I count Isaiah Rashad’s album in the same vein as RZA’s debut album as Bobby Digital, in that it wasn’t bad at all, but not what fans wanted to hear from someone associated with TDE or in RZA’s case the Wu-Tang Clan. So far, my predictions seem closer and closer to the truth with Schoolboy’s album being so bad that it reminded me of Raekwon’s album, then SZA released her album, which reminded me a lot like Deck’s album in that the choices on that album were poor, but the artist themselves were top tier, except this time SZA’s album had much more defined mistakes than Deck’s album. Plus, I can forgive Deck on some songs as he is part of the Wu and can be considered one of the top MC’s to ever take the mic (see Wu-Tang’s “Triumph”). However, I can’t forgive SZA as while she has a beautiful voice, I can find plenty of even better voices that can replace her spot almost instantly. Anyway, enough of my ramblings, let me just start this album…
The beat on here is cloud-rap-ish with some interesting keys being played throughout. The vocals on here is hypnotizing and leaves me in a trance, especially when played on Windows Media Player, as I’m doing right now.
2. Webbie Flow (U Like)
The beat on here continues the atmospheric vibe that the last track set up. Rashad has a way with words that makes it very obvious as to why TDE signed him in the first place. The flow Rashad uses on here is choppy, but somehow flows very well with the beat. The lyrics on here are hard as fuck, and I even ended up liking the hook on here.
3. Cilvia Demo
Oh shit, I now know what this sound reminds me of. This sound reminds me of the more low-key songs off of Outkast’s Aquemini. Rashad’s vocals remind me of Kendrick’s on here, but he has a lot of differences from Kendrick with the most prominent being the flow and imagery Rashad uses. Rashad still needs improvement as it was very obvious that he had to gasp for air in-between one of his bars on the last verse, which is not a good thing in rap as it shows the lack of breath control. Still, this song is awesome and Rashad does his thing.
4. R.I.P. Kevin Miller
Damn, I can’t remember the Master P song that the hook lifts/references from. This is one of my favorite songs on Cilvia Demo and for a good reason, as Rashad’s verses are aggressive and the flow he uses on here is highly enjoyable. The echoing after every word adds to a weird feeling that the beat provided as the foundation to. Plus, I just love that hook.
5. Ronnie Drake (Featuring SZA)
The beat on here is laid-back and Rashad matches the beat with an admirable flow. SZA fucks up during the hook, but it is forgivable because the beat and Rashad blend so damn well.
6. West Savannah (Featuring SZA)
This song is probably the most hypnotizing song on here and I feel like it is pushing the envelope of what is considered rap. This song is the closest that this album sounds to Outkast’s Aquemini.
This song is just pure genius. Rashad’s verses are hardcore hip hop oriented and the beat bangs.
This song has the same level of genius as the last song. Rashad does his thing and the beat does give me a feeling of tranquility.
9. Menthol (Featuring Jean Deaux)
This is the closest Rashad has sounded to Kendrick on a song. I hated the hook on here, but the beat and Rashad were on complete fire so I can turn a blind eye to the hook.
So far, this album has a universal sound that does not restrict itself to one particular region, although Rashad’s accent slips out every now and then. The verses on here blend well with the beat and the hook blends in with the verses, so everything works out.
11. Heavenly Father
This song is on some Aquemini type shit, and I like it.
I don’t know why but I didn’t like this song. I guess it was the weird distorted vocals that remind me of Flatbush Zombies that also don’t blend well with the beat at all. The lyrics are amazing and the beat is pretty good also, but I just can’t get past Rashad’s delivery on here.
13. Brad Jordan (Featuring Michael Da Vinci)
This song was alright but there are better songs on here. I do like how Rashad reps the South on here though.
14. Shot You Down (Featuring Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock)
Now, this song is awesome. I don’t like Q but I can’t deny that his verse was good on here. Still, Q doesn’t hold a candle to Rashad and Jay on this posse cut. Other than the rappers, the beat reminds me of Raekwon’s “Crane Style”, which is definitely a good thing.
Final Thoughts: Even though I liked this album, I know that Rashad will probably stay in the shadow of his other labelmates (except for SZA, her album was wack in my opinion). I wouldn’t place this in my regular rotation because I have to be in a certain mood to listen to this album or I will drop fast asleep though.
Buy or Burn: I would recommend listening to this on some site first until finally buying this album.