Album Review: The House Is Burning by Isaiah Rashad
I’ll be honest, I somewhat have been ignoring the latest songs and releases from Isaiah Rashad for quite a while now. After he released Cilvia Demo back in 2014, he hasn’t really piqued my interest as of late. The main reason probably being that I thought his single and overall effort of his sophomore album The Sun’s Tirade was lackluster. But. throughout social media I have been hearing some good things about this album The House Is Burning, so I decided to lend my ear to it and give Rashad another go at my interest.
Here’s my track by track review of The House Is Burning. The songs I enjoyed and added to my personal playlist have a flame emoji next to them (🔥). The ones I didn’t like, don’t.
I liked the intro. Nothing too long, just a chill and soft beat with repetitive lyrics from Rashad stating his viewpoint of what he should be doing with his time. What else is there to do but provide for his children and get rich?
From The Garden 🔥
This track is dope. I love the way Rashad attacks the track with an ego-filled, bouncy verse that rides the beat perfectly. Lil Uzi Vert did not disappoint either with his contribution to the track. He didn’t try to over extend his verse or change the overall mood of the song, which he does quite often in my opinion. The beat produced by Kal Banx is crazy dope too.
RIP Young 🔥
Damn, this track to follow up right after “From The Garden” is amazing as far as track sequencing goes. The Project Pat sampled beat is a certified banger and again, Rashad delivers matching vocals to compliment the almost perfect production. My fav line is when Rashad says : “They say imma cool cat, fuck that, tell them bitches imma Top Dawg”. The ending skit is hilarious as well!
Lay Wit Ya (with Duke Deuce)
Now, with this track, I heard it when it first dropped as the lead single to the album and honestly, that’s what turned me off to listening to the album in the first place. The track sounds like a lazy attempt Rashad made at trying to make a catchy single for the album, but it didn’t work. Duke Deuce’s verse didn’t help at all either.
Claymore (with Smino) 🔥
This song is sonically amazing. If Rashad did anything right on this album, it was the effort he put into the production and overall sound quality for it. He and Smino’s vocals bounce off the 808’s and soothing bass that gives this track a dope vibe. Another Kal Banx banger.
Headshots (4r Da Locals) 🔥
Rashad opens up the track with a audio clip of him saying that he has a “jam” to whom, I’m guessing, somebody who was in the studio with him during the recording of this song. He did not lie either. Rashad has a bunch of producers on this album that I have not heard of before, but they should be recognized for the effort they put into this album. Hollywood Cole, who at first I thought was J. Cole, is displaying his genius with this instrumental.
All Herb (with Amindi)
This track was not one that I really enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, sonically it sounded great, but it just wasn’t one that really gravitated me into the album more. Sounded like a filler track or throwaway to me. Great vocals on the track as well, but it’s probably one I’ll end up skipping when going back to listen to the album later down the road.
This track is also another one of those tracks where the beat is amazing, but the lyrics and concept of the song, not so much. Rashad seemed to just want to lay something down on the beat while recording the track. He didn’t really sound too inspired on the song either, which is probably why the beat and production over powers him on this one.
True Story (with Jay Rock & Jay Worthy)
I actually like this track. There’s a little bop-type vibe to it and I can’t really be mad at it. I was also excited to know that Jay Rock was featured on the track, and boy did he deliver. It’s still not better than his verse from their previous collaboration on the song “Shot You Down”, but it was still dope. The female vocalist sounds alot like Erykah Badu, but I don’t believe it’s her. No one is actually credited for the voice, so I’m not sure who it is but they’re talented.
Wat U Sed (with Doechii and Kal Banx) 🔥
Another Kal Banx banger and on this track he actually decides to lay a hook on the album, which he delivers flawlessly. I never heard of Doechii, but she kills her portion of the track and completely slides on her verse. Well done to everyone involved on this track. Two thumbs up.
This track is dope and not for the reasons you think. I like the track based on the creativity of it. I like how Rashad implements different voices and vocal effects on the track, that gave it an amazing soundscape and made it that much more interesting. The overall message is dope too.
Chad (with YGTUT)
Again, Kal Banx is not missing at all on this album and I can’t express it enough. H e is now on my radar for producers to really have a big wave in the industry. The feature with YGTUT is great as well, another Tennessee native like Rashad. Great track.
You can definitely tell this was a freestyle track and honestly, Rashad could’ve titled this as a interlude. The track wasn’t anything special and was short enough to do so.
Score (with SZA & 6LACK) 🔥
After seeing who all was featured on this album beforehand, I was excited to see that SZA and 6LACK both appear on the same track. SZA , like always, does a great feature verse and really carries the track with her echoing vocals. 6LACK does a great job as well to keep the overall vibe and mood of the song consistent throughout his verse. Rashad’s verse is actually dope too. He never ceases to amaze me when it comes to his versatility of rapping/singing on his projects. Dope track overall.
The beat. That’s it. That’s all I should have to say about this track. This genius motherfucker decided to sample Missy Elliott’s The Rain in the most subtle way possible. Rashad again delivers very chill and swag full bars that just make want to relax and spark up a blunt. I also like how he decided to double up his vocals on the track, definitely adds to the vibe of the track. Very chill and the production is, again, amazing.
Great beat, even better lyrics and vocals from Rashad. Nothing to really say here but just it was a very dope conclusion to an amazing album.
Overall, I give this album a 7/10. The album really highlighted Isaiah Rashad’s attention to detail and overall dedication to his craft. The selection of producers and artist features is amazing and even the track sequencing, aside for 9–3 Freestyle, really meshed and gave the album a very nice sound and aesthetic. I have to admit, after listening to this album, I need to go back and listen to Rashad’s previous album The Sun’s Tirade to see if maybe I judged it a little to harshly. The House Is Burning is easily a candidate for Hip Hop Album Of The Year in my opinion. Damn, I almost liked this album more than Drake’s Certified Lover Boy.
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