“Mama I knew I was ‘bout it, way before venues was crowded.”
This opening verse from Isaiah Rashad’s song “Park” definitely set the precedent for the night. The show was sold out. The crowd was hype. And Rashad was all about it. His style of hip-hop is laid-back, but full of energy at the same time, combined with smooth bass and drum grooves, it is like something said to be called “southern bounce.”
Isaiah Rashad performed Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at The Concourse in Knoxville as a part of his headlining Lil Sunny Tour to promote his 2016 album The Sun’s Tirade. Rashad, a Chattanooga rapper, has been selling out shows left and right, most recently in Nashville.
Openers Tut, Jay IDK, and fellow TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) member Lance Skiiiwalker got the crowd energized to start the show. Tut, a fellow Chattanooga rapper, performed at Volapalooza last year. He put on a great performance. Jay IDK (IDK standing for Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge) also put on an incredible performance showcasing his lyrical abilities. Lastly, Skiiiwalker performed to an extremely riled up audience. The crowd was so entranced in Skiiiwalker’s set that at one point a fan jumped on stage, dove into the crowd, and crowd surfed.
Isaiah Rashad came on stage at around 11 PM. While his songs do tend to have a laid-back vibe to them, the performance was extremely energetic. He performed songs from his new album including “4r Da Squa”, “Park”, and “Find a Topic (Homies Begged)”. He also performed fan-favorites such as “R.I.P. Kevin Miller” and “Heavenly Father” from his acclaimed 2014 Cilvia Demo EP. After performing “Free Lunch” off of his new album, the set ended with Rashad’s DJ playing fellow TDE member Kendrick Lamar’s track “Alright” from Lamar’s Grammy Award-winning album To Pimp a Butterfly. The crowd stayed energetic chanting along with the song’s chorus of “We gon’ be alright” and it was truly a magical moment and the perfect way to end a stellar performance.
From the moment Rashad came out to the moment he left the building, there was nothing but bass thumping, head bobbing, and lyric chanting. One of the highlights of any concert I attend is the moment where a song becomes a full sing-along/karaoke moment between the artist and the crowd—this happened multiple times last night.
The show was very impressive and all of the performers had their lyrical talents on full display. Isaiah Rashad will be continuing his headlining tour throughout the next few months, so be sure to catch a performance if he is coming to a city near you. Also, be sure to listen to his excellent new album The Sun’s Tirade available now.
Tickets and tour dates are available at lilsunnytour.com
– Chris & Ty