Fresh off the release of his newest album, The House Is Burning, Isaiah Rashad performed his newest tracks, as well as some popular throwbacks, through a virtual concert. Despite the concert being online, Rashad delivered a well-produced, energetic performance full of rich, jazzy beats and expert lyrical flow.
To begin the night, Rashad opened with one of the more upbeat, loud songs from his new album: “From the Garden,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert. He entered the set, which appeared to be an abandoned warehouse, accompanied by two women and a luxurious convertible sports car. Rashad’s emphasis of staccato rhythm in his rapping style fit perfectly with the powerful beat and deep bass drop.
In a quick transition, Rashad switched up to a more relaxed vibe with “4r Da Squaw.” Meanwhile, the women in the background sparked up joints and clouded the room with smoke while the lights dimmed to a blue hue. A synth bell sound with an echoed effect carried the song’s harmonic intricacies, and washed-out snares completed the ethereal lo-fi feel. For the next song, “RIP Young,” Rashad moved to a different part of the warehouse, surrounded by flaming trash cans. The kick drum dominated in this tune, and the catchy chorus was sure to have heads nodding. While there were only two chord changes throughout the song, the elite production level kept the beat busy but clean.
The concert video then changed to a set reminiscent of a college fraternity party room. Although the couch and tables were littered with trash, food, alcohol and more, that didn’t stop Isaiah Rashad from rapping “Tity and Dolla” effortlessly. This song featured interesting key switch-ups and an eerily beautiful whistle sample layered on top of the other instruments. Other cool trinkets and artifacts stood out like the longboard lying on the floor, the Nintendo 64 and the old-fashioned black and white TV.
Later in the performance, the set changed again into a half-studio-half-lounge, where Isaiah Rashad played “Claymore,” featuring Smino, accompanied by his group of friends dancing and chilling. In this easygoing beat, Rashad elected for a more melodic verse full of singing rather than rapping. A jazzy chord progression and bubbly synths gave the song plenty of life.
Another highlight of the night was “Wat U Sed,” where Rashad was accompanied by DOECHII and Kal Banx. The three rapped/sang in a room reflecting a crime scene, with outlines of dead bodies on the floor and dramatic, cinematic lighting. The beat was full of quirky percussive syncopation, while a smooth synth pad rang out a jazzy chord progression.
Toward the end of the concert, Rashad performed a crowd-favorite, “Free Lunch.” Boasting a distinct beat supported by an electric keyboard and guitar, Rashad delivered his flow elegantly. Once again, the set changed to another location outside, where Rashad and his crew danced around graffiti-covered walls and flaming cars.
Throughout his virtual concert, not only did Isaiah Rashad impress with his musical and lyrical prowess but also with the stellar and captivating video production. By the end, audience members were spamming the live chat with “Encore!” eager for the music to continue.