LIVE: Isaiah Rashad @ O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
We're back bringing you coverage of the best live events, and this month the CGuk team headed down to the O2 Forum at Kentish Town in London to see a US rapper who has been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to take his 2021 album 'The House Is Burning' on a European tour.
That's right we're talking about TDE rapper Isaiah Rashad. The Tennessee raised talent kicked off the 'Lil Sunny's Awesome European Vacation' tour in Belfast on the 1st March before making his way round the UK and arriving in London for two dates in the capital. We attended the Wednesday evening show, and despite there being a distinct hoarse vocal, this did not take away from the overall performance, in fact it highlighted the energy he has been putting into the shows prior to this one.
Across the European dates, Isaiah called on two upcoming acts to accompany him and warm up the crowd, and they are OMA, a Manchester based band, and ARDN, a fast rising LA rapper who is already turning heads internationally. The US raised newcomer performed a mixture of released, and unreleased material which was refreshing to see from a new artist. Popular tracks such as 'Plain Jane' seemed to be fan favourites, but it was the unreleased content that really got my attention. His ability to perform it, and engage the crowd as though it's already racked up millions of streams blew me away. It's safe to say that I'll definitely be checking out his forthcoming project, and ARDN is most certainly one to watch for the future.
Just before Rashad took to the stage his band entered the spotlight as they set up their equipment and began performing a montage of West Coast Hip-Hop classics. Of course, the crowd loved this section, and it raised the energy levels in the venue significantly. Exactly what you want before you jump on stage. As Isaiah worked his way through his performance he gave us a little bit of background information about the band. I'm led to believe that they are a UK based outfit who have stepped in for this leg of the tour. Now, with that being said, I'd say that this was the only flaw to the performance. Their ability was clearly evident, but the cohesion between the band and the main act didn't make for a smooth, free flowing show. But, nevertheless, the crowd loved it, and once into the swing of things, the tracks were performed to a high standard, and Isaiah didn't miss.
From early on the crowd were blessed with an energetic performance of his smash hit 'Wat's Wrong' featuring Kendrick Lamar and Zacari. Despite the absence of the featuring artist, this didn't impact Isaiah's performance as he encapsulated the crowd from the get go with this track. Other stand out tracks included 'RIP Young', 'Meal Ticket' and 'Tity and Dolla' which saw him joined on stage by Los Angeles based rapper Hugh Augustine. The duo bounced off each other, and clearly have a strong chemistry which translates into amazing music, and even better live shows.
It is safe to say that the fans will be ready for new music after seeing this live show, but this also highlights just how talented, and popular Isaiah Rashad is. To take an album that was released 2 years ago on a European tour is credit to his artistry, and ability to develop an international audience.