About Isaiah Rashad
Isaiah Rashad McClain is an American rapper from Chattanooga, Tennessee. His first big break would be performing on the 2012 Smoker's Club Tour with rappers Juicy J, Joey Badass and Smoke DZA among others. He is also a founding member of the Chattanooga hip hop collective The House along with fellow Chattanooga rappers YGTUT, Michael Da Vinci , Chris P, and Brian Brown.
In March 2013, Rashad signed to the Carson, California-based independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment. On January 28, 2014, he released Cilvia Demo, his first extended play, via digital distribution. Cilvia Demo was met with widespread acclaim from music critics and debuted at number 40 on the US Billboard 200. Off the buzz from the release of the EP, Rashad was named to the 2014 XXL freshman class. On September 2, 2016, he released his debut studio album, The Sun's Tirade, to further acclaim. The album peaked at number 17 on the Billboard 200. On July 30, 2021, he released his long-awaited sophomore album, The House Is Burning.
Isaiah Rashad McClain was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was raised primarily by his mother, who is a hairdresser. When he was young, Rashad's father would let him stay up late while they listened to Too $hort and Scarface. Then one day when Rashad was three, his father left. Rashad briefly had ambitions of becoming a preacher, until his stepbrother lent him a copy of OutKast's ATLiens in junior high, and his mindset shifted. Shortly after, Rashad started spending most of his time rapping. In his youth, Isaiah’s mother and stepfather converted to Islam and were a part of the Five Percent Nation. He also recounts going to mosque every weekend.
Rashad first began rapping seriously in tenth grade, while he and his friends would record on laptops. At one point, the first stage name he used was Zay Taylor. After high school, he went to Middle Tennessee State University. Then his friend who went to school for music production introduced Rashad to a friend who had a recording studio. As it turned out, the man happened to be his cousin and he let Rashad record there for free. Once his cousin moved on to a different job, Rashad bounced around a couple of local studios. He stopped going to school and lived wherever he could record.
He began getting industry connects, forging relationships with DJ Z from DJBooth.net and Jeff Weiss who writes for Rolling Stone. From that his music begun getting passed around to various A&R's. From July 13 to August 23, 2012, Isaiah Rashad toured with Juicy J, Joey Badass and Smoke DZA among others, on the 2012 Smoker's Club Tour. In December 2012, Rashad begun getting attention from various record labels, most of which he showed no interest in. He also released many free singles on SoundCloud using beats from well known producers such as MF Doom and Flying Lotus, which helped increase his popularity.
In March 2013, Rashad met production team Digi+Phonics' Dave Free, who then introduced him to Anthony Tiffith, the CEO of Carson, California-based independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment . On June 3, 2013, it was reported that Rashad was the recent buzz about signing to Top Dawg Entertainment, home to rappers such as Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock. However, the label did not release an official statement. Over the following months the label and Rashad remained coy about the signing, not confirming anything.
Then on September 20, 2013, Top Dawg Entertainment made the signing official with Top Dawg announcing it over Twitter. However, he revealed he had been signed to the label since March. Following the signing, Rashad moved to Los Angeles, California and began living and recording at the TDE Red Room Studio. To celebrate the signing announcement, a music video for a new song titled "Shot You Down" was released. It was his first new song released in over a year. The video had been recently shot in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. On October 1, 2013, a video was released of Rashad signing his contract with TDE.
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