In May, there were murmurs of TDE signing their next artist. Tennessee rapper Isaiah Rashad was already a buzzword in the industry before he even dropped a full project to back it up. Peter Rosenberg, who is always on point when it comes to inside information, tweeted that he met the newest signee, but couldn’t say much about it. A month later, Power 106’s Rikki Martinez would be the first to announce Rashad’s new label home. Still, with no official confirmation from the camp, fans were waiting to hear the name that would be joining Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q and Jay Rock.
TDE prides itself on building things organically. When they brought on 23-year-old singer SZA to the roster, it was off the strength of her raw talent and where she wants to go with her music. That’s why signing Rashad isn’t too far from the ordinary. He’s already got a number of impressive songs (“Hurt Cobaine,” “Fake Trill,” “Gusto”) under his belt that have helped him gain notoriety. In addition, he’s rapped alongside his labelmates and proved he can keep up with their thought-provoking lyricism.
Just a few weeks after TDE officially debuted his new track “I Shot Ya Down,” we hopped on the phone with the 21-year-old Chattanooga resident to talk about the music scene in his city, getting inspired to rap by Master P, and how he got signed to TDE. Get to know Isaiah Rashad in The Come Up.—Eric Diep