Review Summary: "Doing what they can't and want"
I've tried to write a review for this album numerous times since it came out and I've decided that I could never do it justice. How do you write about something you absolutely love but where there is no topic except the lack of topic? Well, that's a lie. Actually, it's a bit of the truth. To pen down one solid concept is impossible as this album soars all over, exploring within the bounds of Isaiah's life since dropping Cilvia Demo. Flooded with new money and fame it's easy to see why Zaywop went off on a rampage fueled by weed, xanax, and alcohol, his family and the music be damned. When TDE considers dropping you twice for not having music ready something is majorly wrong considering TDE's horrible release schedule, but they pick their artists for a reason after all. "I'm not no mother***ing maybe / I'm for mother***ing real, dog" he says on "4r da Squaw." He's not wrong. Cilvia Demo proved his lyrical ability and The Sun's Tirade proves his mastery of one of the hardest but most important elements of hip hop: putting your life on wax.
Isaiah pours out his soul on this project and he's not scared to show the highest highs of hedonistic living nor the burnt out lows of the aftermath. Songs like "Bday" and "A lot" are hazy, xan'd out stream of conscious raps that perfectly illustrate his total inability to concentrate on one idea when faded. Throughout all his drugged out misadventures Zaywop constantly wavers between wanting to clean up, live with his lover, and be a good father, but at the same time trying to be "rich as a bitch in a drop." These aren't even goals that conflict for most, but it's all Isaiah can think about while he's wasted. His deepest desires. And he can only do one at a time. Deep in the album, "Dressed Like Rappers" represents one of his few truly lucid moments as he examines "real life / what does it feel like?" He finally looks in the mirror and sees himself. Depressed. Unable to write. High as ***. Constantly on the road. Unable to see his kids. But still, "You're everything I love" he croons to his twenties, "Hoes and weed, and I can testify." And the listener looks in the mirror, too. No solutions are given, yet that's part of the joy of The Sun's Tirade. When he says "Thank god I found this rope / I love you" on "Rope // rosegold" is he referring to the rope he was going to use to kill himself or is it the lifeline saving him? This album is whatever you want it to be, a Rorschach test for the listener to view and decide the results. Help yourself or hang yourself, it's up to you. Isaiah just asks the question.
I could go on. I could talk about the sound of this album and how he's got beats that mix A Tribe Called Quest with Outkast and Kendrick Lamar. I suppose I could talk about his outlandish and numerous flows, or the absolutely perfect use of his features. I could talk about how he outrapped King Kendrick on "Wat's Wrong?" Maybe I could even try and touch upon how creative Isaiah is and try to figure out how he could possibly think of some of these songs. He's got the music for the vibers. We just drift along with him for a little bit, trying to comprehend youth and responsibility and the world same as he does. The final verse of "Dressed Like Rappers" ends with "If I should die / I had a nice time." I think that's fine enough.