March 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Isaiah Rashad – Cilvia Demo

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Isaiah Rashad
Cilvia Demo
Top Dawg Entertainment
Street: 01.28
Isaiah Rashad = Schoolboy Q + Odd Future
Thanks to artists like Drake and Earl Sweatshirt, the pressure for rappers to front like they’re hardened sociopaths has eased dramatically. Hip-hop as therapy is the style of the day. For better or worse, Isaiah Rashad is no exception. Right off the bat he raps, “My daddy taught me how to drink my pain away / (he) taught me how to leave somebody,” as if these were good things. Yet by the end of Cilvia Demo, you realize Rashad is far too clever to be that one-dimensional. Rashad takes his father’s abandonment and turns it into a moral imperative—a move that could have been trite in hands of a lesser MC. This, however, is a daring labor of love by a very gifted young man. These strong but flawed songs creep into your soul without you even realizing it—the same way that forgiveness can. –Dan Vesper
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