• Ike Okwerekwu

Do We Take Artists' Creativity For Granted?

If you’re an avid fan of Isaiah Rashad’s music, you’re probably craving for a new project and wondering when his next album will be released. Since the release of his last project, “The Sun’s Tirade”, it’s been nearly three years since he has dropped an album and he has shown no signs of creating another album. Unfortunately, I cannot explicitly explain the young rapper’s musical absence and even though I can make a valid argument for why his music is necessary and would be great in today’s culture, we should be more patient and understanding of his creative process.

For those of you who may not know, Isaiah Rashad was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is a member of the label group, TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) which consists of talented artists such as Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and Schoolboy Q. Isaiah made his first national television appearance by participating in the TDE Cypher at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards. Watch the video below to learn more about Isaiah Rashad and how he signed to TDE.

In 2016, he released “The Sun’s Tirade” which was my favorite album of the year due to the chill nostalgic production on many tracks such as “Free Lunch”, “Wat’s Wrong”, and “4r Da Squaw.” The rapper followed up the success of his debut studio album with his first headlining tour, “Lil Sunny Tour” and traveled to 24 cities including Boston, where I had the pleasure of seeing him perform several album tracks.

As previously stated, Isaiah Rashad has yet to drop another album and has been relatively quiet since the release of his debut album in 2016. His hiatus in music reminds me of the time I was anxiously waiting for another project from him for two years after delivering his mixtape, Cilvia Demo. However, during those two years, he admits he has been suffering from depression and addiction from Xanax and alcohol. On Instagram live, Isaiah records an interesting video, speaking honestly about his mental state and why he sometimes lacks the creative energy to drop music.

Before watching Isaiah on Instagram, I planned on writing about his musical absence and why we need another album, but after listening to the video, I felt a bit guilty and selfish for impatiently wanting him to give us another project. In the live video, he states that he has been working on his album for three years and has created about about 150 songs that his fans would appreciate, but he hasn’t released any of the music because he does not feel like the songs truly represent him.

He goes on to explain that he has a son with autism, but he can barely see his son because he has personal issues with the baby mama. He then speaks about his frustration with his farther who abandoned him at the age of the three and after several years of not talking, randomly drunk calls him to say, “I love you.” Isaiah then talks about the immense pressure he feels to deliver another album after receiving comments about how “The Sun’s Tirade” prevented some of his fans to commit suicide. He concludes the video, preaching the importance of self love and taking care of yourself in order to take care of other people.

Listening to his words made me ponder, “Do we take artists' creativity for granted?” Despite all the personal issues he’s been battling, many fans including myself have felt impatient and entitled to another album. Music fans often complain when their favorite artists don’t release music for a long period of time, and would often make insensitive comments like “he’s not passionate about his craft” or “she dosen’t care about her fans” with no real understanding of what the artist is really going through.

When people make such remarks, they fail to acknowledge that these artists are just as human as us despite their celebrity status. Such comments on social media only puts more unhealthy pressure on the artist and may cause him or her to even rush the album. Artists tend to create their best album when they’re in position to truly be themselves and have no external forces such as label management or disgruntled fans forcing creativity out of them.

Therefore, the next time you’re thinking about posting or commenting about your dissatisfaction with an artist’s lack of music over the recent years, I encourage you to gain a better understanding of the artist’s perspective. Consider doing some research on their recent activities to figure out what may be stunting their musical process. If you’re bold enough, you may even try tweeting, sending a direct message on a social media account, or emailing the artist a positive message that shows you appreciate the time being spent to create their next album.

For all we know, the message may be the start of an awesome relationship with your favorite artist. Even if you don’t receive a response, if the artist is truly working hard and putting in the time to deliver a great project, your message would be truly appreciated!

"It's really strange to get 700 to 800 comments about drop an album and i'm only worried about how my son is doing"

Isaiah Rashad


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