EP Review | Isaiah Rashad – Cilvia Demo

This is an EP? Ya know I always thought this was an album. Not sure why. If you don’t already know, Isaiah Rashad is a rapper from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He signed to Top Dawg Entertainment in March of 2013. Top Dawg Entertainment is the label that Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q & Kendrick Lamar are signed to, so a lot of Hip Hop fans naturally had high expectations for Isaiah. When this EP dropped on January 28th last year he somehow managed to meet those peoples’ expectations. I remember liking the project, but I wasn’t in love with every track. He dropped a lot of singles before it came out tho. I was really looking forward to this especially after hearing the remix of Shot You Down. During the 2013 B.E.T. Hip Hop Awards there was a TDE Cypher. I fucking loved that shit. Kendrick completely murdered it. I remember him saying that it would kinda be like a sequel to his Control verse. That’s the only cypher that I actually downloaded and listen to. It was over the Shook Ones beat. It’s fucking great. Isaiah Rashad spit right before Kendrick tho and everybody was like “who is this motherfucker?” His verse was pretty dope. I don’t even know why I’m talkin’ about that cypher…

Track 1: Hereditary (Prod. Ross Vega)

This beat is smooth as a motherfucker. This whole song sounds really cloudy and kinda lo-fi. Lo-fi Hip Hop songs usually sound really dark, but this one doesn’t really. It just sounds… You know that feeling you get when you’re really fucking depressed and you don’t have anything to do so you just sit in a chair listening to music and drinking? This would be a good song to play at a time like that. I meant drinking water by the way. I’m only 16. I don’t drink alcohol. He’s not really rapping. This is just a smooth ass song with a sing-songy delivery and some sad lyrics. He doesn’t really explain much; he just lets us know that he has a poor relationship with his father and he likes to drink. A lot. He specifically names Hennessy & “Jäger.” Wow. I have no idea what rating to give this. I don’t know if I would just listen to this by itself, but I think it’s a pretty great way to start the album off at least lyrically. Actually, you know what? I’ll be nice and call this dope af. I think this was a really great introduction. I like how he kept it short and hinted at a very serious topic, but didn’t really dive into it. It kinda gets you hooked, ya know? I fuck with this shit right here. This shit is dope af. 5/5

Track 2: Webbie Flow (U Like) [Prod. Mr. Carmack]

I could never really fuck with Webbie, but I guess North Carolina isn’t really that Southern. This beat is smooth as hell. It’s pretty similar to the previous beat. It’s just a little less drowned out. Oh fuck. The beat just dropped. It gets a lot more energetic when the drums actually come in. I fuck with this beat. This beat is dope. Isaiah’s just talkin’ about himself growin’ up. His flow’s nothing special. He’s not really saying anything that interesting, but… I don’t know. I kinda fuck with this song for some reason. His verse really wasn’t that great tho. I like the beat, but that’s pretty much it honestly. It’s not a bad song, but nothing really stands out aside from the beat. I’m gonna keep this downloaded, but I really wouldn’t feel right if I gave it anything higher than a 3/5

Track 3: Cilvia Demo (Prod. Joseph L’Étranger)

This is smooth as fuck. This is definitely the best beat on the project so far. I fuck with his flow on this bitch. “The hung soul a rapper goes rapping those wrapping woes up / Defying foes, lying toes, weapons on tuck.” I actually liked the first verse on this motherfucker a lot. The hook is pretty good too. There’s not really anything to dislike about this song. The beat is smooth as hell, he does his thing on the verses and the hook is catchier than a motherfucker. I fuck with this song. I usually don’t really fuck with weed songs, but he doesn’t seem like he’s actually addicted to it. Most rappers just make weed look stupid, but Isaiah Rashad actually makes it look fun. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 4: R.I.P. Kevin Miller (Prod. Black Metaphor)

According to RapGenius, Kevin Miller is the deceased brother of Master P, which explains the Weed & Money hook. I remember this being one of the standout songs from my first listen of this project. Just like most of the other songs on Cilvia Demo, this beat is very smooth. The hook is pretty simple, but it’s catchy as hell. His flow is pretty dope. Nothing that crazy, but I like it. It’s pretty obvious that Master P is one of Isaiah Rashad’s favorite rappers. I could never really get into him like that, but some of his shit is alright I guess. Isaiah Rashad’s namin’ a lot of Southern rappers tho. He’s already said the government names of Master P, Big Boi & Pimp C. He mentioned Juvenile & Gucci Mane too. I like Isaiah’s flow, but he really isn’t saying anything that amazing or interesting. It’s cool, but I’m not really blown away… He sounds good over this beat, but the shit he’s actually sayin’… It ain’t that bad lyrically, just slightly above average. I fuck with this song tho. The hook is dope af & so is the beat. Isaiah Rashad’s delivery & flow are pretty good. The lyrics are just good. They aren’t bad and they definitely aren’t great. This is kinda like a Curren$y song, except it’s not boring as fuck. This is dope. 4/5

Track 5: Ronnie Drake Feat. SZA (Prod. The Antydote)

Ronnie Drake

This beat is smoother than a motherfucker. I fuck with it. One of the comments for the music video says “The moment he starts with ‘So don’t call me a nigga, unless you call me “my nigga,”‘ you know that this guy isn’t your average rapper.” Yeah… That line really isn’t that good. It’s not bad, but it really isn’t anything special. Maybe I would be as excited as that guy was if I felt the same way about the N word. Rashad’s doin’ his thing on the first verse. I pretty much feel the same way about it as I did his verses in the previous track. It’s not bad. It just doesn’t really stand out to me. The beat is nice. I fuck with this beat. The hook is dope af. SZA did her thing on this motherfucker. He just opened up the second verse with “Hope they don’t kill you cause you black today.” I’m interested now. Yeah, this second verse definitely has some of the most interesting shit he’s said so far. I actually really fuck with this song. The beat & hook are both dope and Isaiah did his thing on the verses (especially the second one). This is dope af. 5/5

Track 6: West Savannah Feat. SZA (Prod. The Antydote)

Thank God he finally switched up the sound a bit with this song. It’s still smooth as hell, but it just has a very different vibe than everything else so far. Even though I really like the previous song those tracks all sound a little too similar to me. As standalone songs they’re decent, but together on a full length project they just make things kinda boring. This beat sounds kinda sad. You know how most love songs are just like “man I really like you and I’m tryna fuck?” Well, this one is actually a good love song where it’s like “I fucking love you and I want to die because I love you so much.” That’s the kind of love song I like. It’s a lot more convincing than the former. Does that make sense??? Fuck… I feel like that was really confusing… Anyway, Isaiah Rashad is singing all through this track and he actually sounds pretty goddamn good. SZA just provides the background vocals, but goddamn she sounds so good. I definitely fuck with this song. The beat, hook, melody & background vocals are all great. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 7: Soliloquy (Prod. Farhot)

This beat is much more uptempo and hard hitting than the other songs. It’s great to finally have more energy on this project, but the beat itself… I don’t know. I feel like it’s a really good beat, but I just can’t really fuck with it like that. It’s cool, but it’s just kinda boring to me. Maybe I played this shit out. I don’t remember thinking it was amazing before tho. I don’t know. It’s alright. I feel like this is the first track where his bars are really great. “Don’t you put me on freshman covers, I’m posing with lunch / Think they worthy of presence presently passing ’em up.” Wasn’t he on the XXL Freshman List last year? This is just a bunch of great bars over an average beat (most people probably think it’s great tho). His flow is nothing special, but the lyrics are dope, so I fuck with this. This is dope to me. I love that there’s no hook too. 4/5

Track 8: Tranquility (Prod. Farhot)

Fuck. I really like the beat on Cilvia Demo, but I think I like this one a little better. It sounds familiar tho. I feel like I heard this beat before I even listened to this project. Does this song sample a popular song or something? It doesn’t even really sound like a Hip Hop beat. It sounds like something that would play in the background of a happy ending in an emotional Disney movie. I don’t know why it has to be Disney, but it just does. It’s the smoothest shit I’ve ever heard. That’s not true, but it is really goddamn smooth. It has kind of a sad vibe tho. Well, I can’t tell if it’s happy or sad. I really like this beat. I actually don’t really know if smooth is the right word for this. It just makes you feel really calm. I could fall asleep listening to this shit. That’s not a bad thing; I’m not saying it’s boring. It’s just relaxing as fuck. The hook is the same way. He sounds like he’s barely awake. That’s still not a bad thing tho. It wouldn’t sound right if he had a really energetic delivery over this beat. His delivery on the actual verses is less laid back, but it still works. He’s talkin’ about the second coming and the contradiction of martyrdom. This is actually a pretty good idea for a song. I don’t think I’ve ever heard another song about something like this. “I’m just hoping that she praying while she down on her knees / See, I often treat these hoes like their fathers would be.” I definitely fuck with this song. The beat is dope af, the hook doesn’t suck anus, the topic is actually interesting and Isaiah’s bars are on point. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 9: Menthol Feat. Jean Deaux (Prod. Sounwave)

This beat isn’t really that good… I fuck with Sounwave, but I can’t really get into this beat. It’s not really bad, but it just isn’t very good. It doesn’t stand out in any way. It’s boring. I don’t know. Isaiah Rashad’s loud delivery over this average beat just makes this song sound like a mess. This hook isn’t terrible, but I just can’t fuck with it. It kinda sounds like Jean Deaux’s vocals aren’t loud enough. The lyrics are kinda cool, but the song itself just isn’t very good sonically. It sounds like there’s too much going on despite the simplistic beat. It must be the strange vocal effect. I don’t know what it is, but the vocals just sound kinda drowned out. Maybe there’s too much reverb. I don’t know. This just isn’t that good of a song. I feel like if it had a cleaner sound it could be a decent song, but I don’t think this is very good at all, at least sonically. This is… I’m hesitant to call it wack because the lyrics were kinda cool. Shit, fuck it. I don’t fuck with this shit. It’s wack to me. 2/5

Track 10: Modest (Prod. Chris Calor)

This song has a very smooth, ethereal sounding beat. It’s alright I guess. The bass is pretty hard, but other than that this is nothing special to me. His flow is cool I guess. I’m so tired. I’m ’bout to go to sleep; I’ll finish this when I wake up. Okay I woke up about 15 or 20 minutes ago. It’s 3:10 PM now. Not sure how that happened. I fell asleep at like 2:30 AM. I didn’t expect to wake up at 10:00 AM, but 3:10 just feels a little late. I would’ve accepted 1:30 PM. Anyway, this song is just kinda boring. His flow is average and the beat doesn’t really stand out at all. The hook is boring to me. He did his thing on the verses I guess (especially the second one), but… I don’t know. It’s just kind of a boring song. It’s alright I guess. 3/5

Track 11: Heavenly Father (Prod. D. Sanders)

I fuck with this beat. It’s much more upbeat and happy sounding than all the other tracks. Isaiah Rashad’s singin’ and I actually kinda fuck with it. It’s not amazing or anything, but I like it. SZA’s on the hook. It’s nothing special, but it works. Isaiah’s talking about his depression. I don’t know much about SZA & Jay Rock, but it seems like everyone signed to TDE has struggled with depression at some point in their life. This is sad as fuck. He has a really cheerful sounding delivery, but the lyrics are dark as fuck. He’s talking about being a depressed child and cutting himself and hanging himself on the playground. This is great. He reveals the source of his depression in the last few bars of the second verse. “And Daddy, why you call me while you’re drunk? / And why you never love me when I need it? / And I don’t wanna be like you no more / And I been trying to cope, I’m getting weeded.” This is awesome. He actually raps on the last verse instead of singing. I definitely fuck with this. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 12: Banana (Prod. The Antydote)

This track is more uptempo just like Soliloquy, but this beat is a lot doper in my opinion. His flow and delivery are much more energetic than usual. He actually sounds awake & sober on this song. I fuck with his flow on this shit. It sounds like SZA’s on the hook again. I really fuck with this hook. He’s goin’ in on this second verse. “My daddy left me with no details / Came back with a bitch and his stepson / I guess he forgot that he left somethin’.” Jesus Christ. That… That sucks ass. That would suck so fucking much if that happened to me. Goddamn. This second verse is great. I definitely fuck with this song. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 13: Brad Jordan Feat. Michael Da Vinci (Prod. Danny Dee)

Brad Jordan is the government name of Scarface. This beat is smooth af, but that goddamn bass is crazy. This shit goes hard. Isaiah’s flow sounds great over this. I don’t know about this hook. It’s not really bad, but it’s just kinda boring. Same goes for the bridge in which Isaiah talks about being like the kids from South Park because he’s always causin’ trouble. Michael Da Vinci’s on this second verse. He did his thing. Nothing special. I liked his verse. He fit pretty well. This is a dope song. I kinda disliked the hook & bridge a little bit, but everything else was dope. I fuck with this. 4/5

Track 14: Shot You Down Feat. Jay Rock & ScHoolboy Q (Prod. Chris Calor & The Antydote)

Shot You Down

This is the first Isaiah Rashad song I ever heard. I fucking love this song. I was really fucking excited for this EP after I heard this song the first time. He’s just talking about being a dope rapper and shittin’ on the wack ones. It’s great. This beat is fucking great. “I’m praying for some good rappers and a fleetwood / Why I gotta bring my A game? You just D goods.” This is definitely one of Isaiah’s best verses on the whole project. He killed it. I fucking love this hook too. This is one of the best hooks on the project. He actually sounds pretty good when he sings. Jay Rock is on the second verse. He sounds like a fucking monster on this bitch. “I keep shooters on the wing when I’m riding through and if niggas out of bounds they gon probably shoot / ‘Cause killing is the hobby / Eastside niggas, yeah, we known for catching bodies.” For real he sounds fucking dangerous on this shit. Especially when he says “Watching these fake rappers, getting my aim on.” I love this verse. Rock fuckin’ killed it. ScHoolboy Q comes in right behind him and fuckin’ kills it. “I’m just tryna hit ’em and leave ’em, dog, they yours for the keep, but don’t be kissing them broads, my sperm on their teeth.” I definitely fuck with this song. This song is dope af. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

That was dope. The drowned out feeling that a lot of the tracks had got kinda old after a while, but he thankfully switched it up eventually. Kinda wish he didn’t wait until the halfway point to do so, but it’s not really that big of a deal. Isaiah Rashad is actually pretty goddamn good at making hooks. There were only a few that I wasn’t in love with and even those ones don’t ruin the songs they’re on. I think there’s only one song on here that I really disliked and that wasn’t even that bad. I just couldn’t fuck with it. He talks a lot about just living life and having fun on this project which is cool, but I personally prefer when he’s rapping about the fucked up shit in his life like him being suicidal and not having a father. That kind of music is just much more interesting to me. I wish he had a few more energetic tracks like Banana & Soliloquy, but the other tracks weren’t bad. It was just a little too much of the same sound. I liked almost every song on this son of a bitch tho. I fuck with this project. This is dope.

Favorite Song: Tranquility

Least Favorite Song: Menthol




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