Certified Fresh: Isaiah Rashad – A Southern Rookie With Veteran Capabilities
Hip-Hop Wired: These days, it’s rare that an artist gets signed before releasing a project. What made you wait so long to release an official body of work?
Isaiah Rashad: I took my time with making my first project. I took a decent amount of time between when I first started making music til now so I can get good practice in and kind of build up my own stuff, rather than throw out some stuff I just came up with.
HHW: Cool. Speaking on Cilvia Demo‘s cover, are those scratched out words tentative titles?
HHW: I hear a lot influences in the project’s sound, but what better way to get that info than from the horse’s mouth? Who were some of your influences for the sonics?
Isaiah Rashad: Sonically, if my project was mostly influenced by somebody I listen to, it would be Erykah Badu, as far as how it flows and there being a lot of stuff going on the whole time. And of course Outkast — like ATLiens — and Q and Soul and them, the way they put their projects together. I talked to them about the right way to do stuff. They didn’t give me a whole bunch of game on it. It more of you just have to learn on your own, but they gave me some guidance to it. That’s really it.
It was just me and my homies. All the beats and stuff, we came up with them together. Most of the dudes on the project, except like two producers, was really in the house with us the whole time. We cooked it up. I know everybody that produced on the project.
Isaiah Rashad: The story behind the artwork for the project is they were all names that could have been the project, and they were different ideas that I had since I started. When I first decided that I was gonna really make a project, it started from Pieces of a Kid, Fake Trill, Khaki, and all that stuff. It kind of symbolizes the direction to start with and really go in head first.
HHW: I noticed that one of the scratched out titles on the project was Preacher’s Son. Since you mention your father’s absence a lot on the EP, was that title a form of release therapy?
Isaiah Rashad: Preacher’s Son actually didn’t have anything to do with my dad or anything like that. It was more of something I was working on with my homies. Even Fake Trill, that was something I was working on with my homies back in Chattanooga, Tennessee like way be before all this. I was trying to pay homage.
HHW: How does your old Honda Civic, “Cilvia,” play into your life story?
Isaiah Rashad: The significance of car with my story and my project — it’s kind of the ending of a chapter in my life. I’m kind of… not kind of, I’m telling you to get you up to speed with all that. That’s why Cilvia Demo is a demonstration of different styles I’m going to try out with this new chapter in my life, while giving you all the old stuff.