Isaiah Rashad puts on for TDE with the release of “The House Is Burning.”
HONORABLE MENTION. SCORE
“Score” sounds like it could be an updated version of the Living Single theme song. “Score” is probably the most complete, most dynamic, and most commercial-ready track on this album. While you get the usual slurry vocals from Isaiah Rashad in the song, you also get a very passionate vocal performance by SZA, and one of the sliest rap verses of the year by 6LACK. Really, everyone but Isaiah shines in this song.
5. RIP YOUNG
“RIP Young” is one of the few tracks on this album that reminds me of the s**t that was on Isaiah Rashad’s previous album.
“RIP Young” is so f**king smooth. It’s the kind of track that you are going to want to bump while driving down a backroad in your Cadillac. The song features a Houston-inspired instrumental that will keep your high going and a style of rapping by Isaiah that is so f**king easygoing. As for lyrically, Isaiah does a good job of hitting us with bars that highlight his carefree, money-making, violent, braggadocios, and unbothered ways.
4. 9-3 FREESTYLE
I wish “9-3 Freestyle” was longer.
It’s a damn shame that you get Isaiah Rashad’s best rap performance in the very short “9-3 Freestyle.” I mean, seriously, he hits us with superb rap flows, tons of energy, a galvanizing hook, and lyrics that everybody can relate with in the song. All in all, I feel like Isaiah is in a pocket in the song that is extremely impressive.
3. HEADSHOTS (4R DA LOCALS)
Forget Isaiah Rashad, the instrumental that powers this song is fascinating.
“Headshots (4r Da Locals)” boasts one of those serene instrumentals that I am confident that both Big Boi and Andre 3000 will love. Over it, Isaiah shines by hitting us with slick-ass flows and a hook that you might hear at a playa’s ball. All in all, this is a track that completely showcases the TDE rapper’s strengths.
“Claymore” is such a vibe (Maybe even too much of a vibe).
Two rappers that are grossly underrated in Smino and Isaiah Rashad showcase their Captain-Save-A-Chick sides in “Claymore.” Over a breezy instrumental that actually makes me want to find a fluffy pillow and take a nap, both MCs rap and sing about potentially spoiling, taking their time with, and impressing their respective women. While both rappers sound high off anesthesia in their verses, there are a few melodies here and there that will catch your attention for sure.
1. FROM THE GARDEN
While scouring through the tracklisting of this album, the guest feature that popped out to me was Lil Uzi Vert. While I have always been down for Uzi features, I simply wasn’t sure how his sound would mesh with Isaiah’s. Well, based on what I heard in “From The Garden,” I can tell you that the two rappers sound solid together.
If you have dreads, fake dreads, or loose cornrows, you are going to want to shake them whenever “From The Garden” comes on. The song boasts a high octane beat that features a helluva tempo, spazzy flows by Isaiah Rashad, and very sly deliveries by Uzi. The song also features braggadocios, competitive, and mackadocios lyrics.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. DARKSEID (3/5)
2. FROM THE GARDEN (4/5)
3. RIP YOUNG (4/5)
4. LAY WIT YA (3/5)
5. CLAYMORE (4/5)
6. HEADSHOTS (4R DA LOCALS) (4/5)
7. ALL HERB (3/5)
8. HEY MISTA (3/5)
9. TRUE STORY (4/5)
10. WAT U SED (3/5)
11. DON’T SHOOT (3/5)
12. CHAD (4/5)
13. 9-3 FREESTYLE (4/5)
15. SCORE (4/5)
16. THIB (4/5)
17. HB2U (3/5)
I’ll be real, this is one of those albums that I think folks should sit on… With that being said, here is my opinion on it (I’m such a hypocrite)!
Isaiah Rashad’s style is an acquired taste. While your average person would probably think that he is a boring rapper that is more than capable of putting folks to sleep with his dull-ass deliveries, I actually think that he is a boring rapper that knows how to make music that is hypnotizing. In The House Is Burning, the TDE product never uses his outside voice and talks like a dude that doesn’t sweat s**t. However, I love how he puts himself in situations that make his ho-hum style sound more so unorthodox as opposed to forgettable in the album. If you ask me, Isaiah is not to supposed to fit on songs like “From The Garden” or “Score,” but he does, and I think that’s because sometimes beats ask to be pimped by folks that don’t do too much… Isaiah never does too much. Also, there’s a group of
weed heads music fans that strictly listen to songs for vibes; Isaiah’s music is all about vibes. If you are rolling up or getting a massage, I can see your body f**king with The House is Burning more than your ears.
Do you know what is pretty interesting about The House Of Burning? Isaiah Rashad talks tons of s**t in the album. Don’t let his lethargic demeanor fool you, throughout his verses, he totes himself as a womanizer, a dude that is packing (Guns), a dude that spends recklessly, and a dude that is better at life than us. As somber as Isaiah sounds in The House Is Burning, surprisingly, he comes across as a very confident dude lyrically.
The guest features on The House Is Burning ranges from A-listers to D-listers (No offense to anyone). My favorite appearance came from 6LACK on “Score.” Overall, I do think everyone on this album did a great job of ignoring Isaiah’s vibes and plugging their own vibes to the song’s they were featured on.
The beats on The House Is Burning are so f**king good, right? Each one boasts therapeutic elements and old time hood feels. I give the beats on this album an A!
Don’t you just love how TDE artists create music that share similar vibes? On the real, The House is Burning feels like the perfect appetizer while we wait for the entré… Kendrick Lamar’s upcoming album (Kendrick, please get back into the studio! The COVID cases are declining…somewhat).
I want to hear how much better your top 5 is than mines. Let me know in the comments section!
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.