Album Rating System out of 5 records
Cilvia Demo is a nice piece of work released by TDE recording artist, Isaiah Rashad. The album title comes from his Honda Civic that he affectionately named Cilvia. If you’re not familiar with Rashad you should be. He first made a national appearance on BET’s 2013 Freestyle Cipher where he rapped alongside fellow TDE artists, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock. In an impressive display of lyricism he stood out as a rising star among the best crew in Hip Hop today.
Hip Hop has spread across a vast landscape of cultures from its roots in the South Bronx to places like southern Appalachia, a region of the country that is known for its mountain ranges, its hillbilly culture, and Mountain Dew (originally southern slang for moonshine). In this pocket of the country sits Chattanooga, Tennessee, a city that is 120 miles northwest of Atlanta that is hardly mentioned. If you’ve ever traveled to Pittsburgh you have an idea of the lay out of Chattanooga. Communities sit atop hills and for miles there are stretches of forest until the next community suddenly appears. The city’s picturesque urbanization is reminiscent of an industrialized boomtown, which latterly lends itself to Chattanooga’s understated charm. This is where Rashad was raised, where he draws his experiences and is part of what makes this album interesting.
Rashad is your typical southern kid minus the traditional southern flow. He talks about drinking Jagerbombs, bumping No Limit, driving around the city with nowhere to go, you know, typical southern malarkey. But beyond the exterior is a deeply thoughtful kid who is able to clearly articulate his experiences into substantive lyrics, something that is not usually associated with southern Hip Hop. Though the various cadences of his rhyme pattern faintly resemble his label mate Kendrick Lamar, like on his lead single R.I.P. Kevin Miller, an ode to Master P’s slain brother and all things southern, Rashad is not a copycat. His style is his own but being apart of the talented TDE roster its hard not be influenced to some degree by his predecessors.
Hereditary is the first track where Rashad harmonizes in his drunken pain over a melancholy J. Dilla-esque beat, “My daddy taught me how to drink my pain away/My daddy taught me how to leave somebody/My daddy taught me how to smoke my load and go/My daddy taught me I don’t need nobody.” Throughout Cilvia he cleverly references influential 90’s Hip-Hop relics. These references are organically used in each song, as opposed to hollow shout outs that fail to apotheosize. In Webbie Flow (U Like) he raps “Chugging Bombay, f**k your turn up/ F**k your mosh pit, I’m on my sh*t/On that Tribe sh*t, got that Phife Dawg/I might bite, b*tch…” On Cilvia Demo he raps “Be cool for a minute, ’93 ‘Til be cool for a Emmett/The hung soul of a rapper goes, rapping those wrapping woes up/Defying foes, lying toes, weapons on tuck/Malcolm, they tackle for belief in the movement/But Rashad got applause for releasing the music.” Also, songs like Brad Jordan ft. Michael Da Vinci, Soliloquy, West Savannah ft. SZA and Shot U Down ft. Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock are definitely songs worth checking out.
Out of 5 I give Cilvia Demo a 4. The production is amazing and I think the album is a breath of fresh air for Hip Hop and it’s thoroughly entertaining with no bland spots but I think some of his subject matter could have been a tad more focused. And that may not be entirely his fault since he is new it takes some time to mature as an artist. For example, in his songs Rashad will briefly visit sensitive subject matter and abruptly revert to his comfort zone of talking about hanging with friends, women, and boozing. It’s almost as if he’s detached from his own experiences. I think once he learns how to stay in that moment he’ll be able to produce some classic material.
Download album here —-> CILVIA DEMO
© Copyright Eddie Savoy Bailey III, 2014
Written by: Eddie Bailey of The Savoy Media Group
Twitter @BttleRapHistory & @SavoyMediaGroup