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First weekend of March, Sunday night, I was in line at The Observatory in North Park, on board for Isaiah Rashad’s Lil Sunny Tour. As soon as I made it into the building I immediately copped a t-shirt, just so everyone at the venue knew I was there and ready to vibe.

Who is Isaiah Rashad?

Isaiah is a Tennessee rapper and member of the Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) label crew. Alongside his labelmates- Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, and Kendrick Lamar- Isaiah stands out as the only rapper from the South. Back in January 2014, his lengthy EP Cilvia Demo hit the shelves with its jazzy and hazy Southern Hip Hop sound. For me, this seemingly came out of nowhere, and between his rapping ability and unique sound, I certainly saw potential in him for future projects. This past September he had finally released his debut studio album The Sun’s Tirade, which in my opinion did not quite live up to his EP. But, the potential is still there, certainly enough for me get off my ass and go to a show of his.

Before we talk more about Isaiah, what about the opener?

Touring with Isaiah we have Maryland rapper Jay IDK, which stands for Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge. Looking at the crowd it didn’t seem like many people really knew about this guy. Not to worry, he made a big effort to shout his name about 10 times throughout his set, making his name pretty hard to forget. Overall, he definitely knows how to get the crowd amped up and certainly kept us on our toes for the headliner.

What about Isaiah’s set?

Once Isaiah hit the stage with his single “Smile,” the entire venue was cloudy, and the crowd was really vibing. You could tell the concert was packed with the most dedicated Isaiah fans out there. He damn near could’ve left the stage and just let the fans do the rapping. Throughout the set he played various songs from Cilvia Demo, as well as his debut album The Sun’s Tirade. So he catered very well to his older and newer fans. The standout Cilvia Demo tracks that had the crowd screaming the most had to be “R.I.P. Kevin Miller” and “Heavenly Father.” As for his most debut studio album, “Free Lunch” definitely got the crowd going, but my personal favorite performance was “Tity and Dolla.”

Any surprises during the set?

During the middle of it, local San Diego rapper Rob Stone-a lot of you might have seen this guy at SDSU Greenfest-shared the stage with Isaiah, which was a great way to represent our local artists. But the biggest surprise for me was after his set when Isaiah shared his hand with any fan willing to get close enough to the stage. I’m happy to say that I was one of those fans who got to shake the dude’s hand. What a cool dude.

Any shortcomings?

If anything, he could have ended his set a little better. After playing “4r Da Squaw,” he teased us by putting on “Alright” by his labelmate Kendrick and, I’m not gonna lie, I was definitely ready for a freestyle from Isaiah- or something- but no. And honestly it seemed pretty lame to finish it off with your most popular labelmate’s hit song. (Though, he still made up for it with the handshake).


I definitely had a great time at the show and was pleased by a nice balance between his projects, with my being a bigger fan of Cilvia Demo. And, if he stops by in the area again, you can bet your ass I’m going to his show.

Written by Miguel Silva

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