Isaiah Rashad is a 30 year old rapper from Chattanooga, Tennessee emerging in 2013 by signing to Top Dawg Entertainment & dropping his 2nd EP cilvia demo to universal acclaim the following year. Then came the full-length debut The Sun’s Tirade in 2016, which received as much praise. But after 4 years in the making, TDE is finally letting Zaywop put out a follow-up with the help of Warner Records.
“Darkseid” starts things out with a melancholic ballad about how toddlers got Purple Hearts whereas “From the Garden” with Lil Uzi Vert is an energetic trap banger about them comin’ out bustin’. “RIP Young” beautifully samples “Cheese & Dope” by Project Pat addressing his fame & although I love the vibe of “Lay Wit Ya” (especially the “Ridin’ n’ tha Chevy” sample), the Duke Deuce verse is fucking garbage.
Meanwhile on “Claymore”, we have Zaywop & Smino coming together for a tropical tune asking their lovers if they runnin’ or exercisin’ just before “Headshots (4r da Locals)” serving as an equally excellent sequel to “4r da Squaw”. He & Amindi jump on top of a boom bap instrumental on “All Herb” saying they all hurtin’ leading into the luscious “Hey Mista”, which is a nice lil off-the-top freestyle.
Jay Rock & Jay Worthy come into the picture to talk about smokin’ on the fumes yesterday with the slick banger “True Story” whereas “Wat U Sed” with Iamdoechii is an atmospheric tribute to “Bunny Hop”. Zay details someone who says he ain’t got nothing to lose on the psychedelic “Don’t Shoot” while YGTUT-assisted “Chad” calls out “cats foldin’ like huns” & I really dig the guitar playing behind the snares.
“9-3” works in some keyboards & hi-hats to get a bit repetitive in terms of the lyricism, but then SZA & 6LACK come in for the Kenny Beats-produced slowjam “Score” without sounding forced or corny as fuck. The title track is a pillowy look at Zaywop’s struggles with addiction & the closer “HB2U” goes into a jazzier direction saying he did this all for his baby.
I didn’t think this day would ever come, but it goes without saying that The House is Burning is the best project that we’ve seen come out of the TDE camp since CTRL. It serves as a fantastic tribute to the dirty south in terms of the overall sound to the blatant references throughout the lyrics. I really hope we don’t have to wait another 5 years for this dude to drop.