[With Top Dawg Entertainment home to Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, SZA, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, it's easy to forget about the incredibly talented Isaiah Rashad. Today, SOHH correspondent Jason O'Connor delivers five incredibly dope things you need to know about the Southern rap spitter.]
1. The Grind
Rashad began rapping when he was in the tenth grade. After high school, he starting spending time in recording studios after learning he had a cousin in the business. In March of 2013, Rashad signed with Top Dawg Entertainment. Later that year, he made his national television debut with a performance on the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards. Then, in late January of 2014, Rashad released the EP, Cilvia Demo. His performance on BET, and his EP, turned Rashad into one of the rap world's biggest prospects.
2. The Waiting Game
Fans and industry insiders couldn't wait for Rashad's next project. They couldn't wait for him to put it all together and solidify himself as force to be reckoned with. They would have to wait. Rashad didn't release his debut studio album for two years. Instead, he released his demons.
3. The Addiction
Addiction turned the rising Rashad into a depressed sloth. There was a time when he would have rather gotten high than gone to the studio. His substances of choice were Xanax and alcohol. "You realize how critically-acclaimed don't mean sh*t," Rashad told Billboard.com Things were so bad that Top Dawg Entertainment threatened to drop him on multiple occasions. Rashad hit his low point when his addiction started affecting his relationship with his mother and his memory.
4. The Rebound
Rashad got himself sober and got himself back into the studio. He put together his debut platter and saved his career. That album, The Sun's Tirade, dropped on the second day of September, 2016. It peaked at number 17 on the Billboard 200 and received widespread critical acclaim. Sure, there were a few bumps along the way, but Rashad had delivered on his potential. He became a famous rapper.
5. Work, Work, Work
He didn't do it by partying and getting high. He did it through hard work and believing in himself. As Rashad will tell you, talent and connections can only take you so far. To be successful, you have to put in the work and believe in yourself. No one is going to do either of those things for you. Thankfully, Rashad pulled himself out of the maw of addiction. Had he not, then we would have all been deprived of a great album by a great rapper. So, if you're in the tenth grade and you're dreaming about being a famous rapper, don't assume it's going to be one big party. Count on working hard and being sober.
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