If you’ve been anywhere near the hip-hop industry and still have not heard about Isaiah Rashad, please take some time to reevaluate your approach. He is the Top Dawg Entertainment east coast gem who has unfortunately taken a backseat to some of the label’s bigger stars like Kendrick Lamar and SZA. However don’t let this deter you, Isaiah is probably The Cartel’s favorite artist on the roster and for good reason. His melodies are endless, the catchy hooks bring you in, and the gritty verses keep you staying for more. 2016 was the year of The Sun’s Tirade, Rashad’s follow up to his debut album Cilvia Demo, and undoubtedly his biggest commercial album to date. Despite its come-up success, the Chattanooga rapper continues to be slept on across the plains of hip-hop. He is expected to release a new EP or full length album very soon, although not much word has come from TDE or Isaiah himself. He has released a few short videos showing him “heading to the studio” and even an Instagram live feed where he previewed a couple songs, although not much else has been said on his triumphant return for his third studio album.

Even with these few clues, Rashad remains a recluse as of this writing. I remember seeing him perform last year in Sacramento, CA in a small venue called Harlows. He had two shows back to back, and both were packed with people elbow to elbow. Then when he came on stage and his presence entered the room, the energy kicked up about 30 notches. It felt like a stadium tour but in reality it may have been 50-70 people max. Now thats the kind of energy that I listen to music for.

Not much is known on what Rashad’s new album will be called, when it will drop, or who will be featuring, but one thing is for sure: When he does choose to return, The Cartel will be waiting with open ears and freed up space on our iPod’s.