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Isaiah Rashad brings a unique intimacy to the Lowbrow

Michela Román

Most rappers in the game prefer sold out arenas and large crowds to flaunt their live stage performances. To witness a rapper put all the hype and large presence aside for an intimate setting is a special treat that not many get to experience.

One of Top Dawg Entertainment’s finest rappers under their label, Isaiah Rashad, made a stop on his first solo tour to the Lowbrow Palace on Sunday night. A sense of intimacy and closeness made the concert was a sensation.

The Lowbrow Palace is known for putting on shows for upcoming artists in the game and local acts, but Rashad surpassed all those levels due to his popularity. The venue holds about 300-350 people at maximum capacity.

It was one of hip-hop’s finest rappers in the game vibing with an intimate and roaring sold-out crowd.

Rashad’s last appearance in El Paso came nearly three years ago at Tricky Falls, when he tagged along with Schoolboy Q, Vince Staples and Audio Push for the “Oxymoron” tour. He lived up to his last performance, which was during his coming up through the ranks, and surpassed all expectations.

His starting act, Jay IDK, opened up the show utilizing his old-school rap methods. He continuously had the crowd singing along to his hooks, and in between songs, he would break off in an acapella flow. All which led up to Isaiah’s act, which had the venue chanting for the Nashville artist.

After his DJ-blasted Kendrick Lamar’s “M.a.a.d. City,” Rashad stormed onto the stage, opening up with his hit single of 2016, “Smile.”

He introduced himself to the El Paso crowd and asked for no violence in the crowd, pleaded with the fans to vibe out to his music, and requested that no one shout out songs that they wanted to hear, because, according to him, he would “get to all the favorites.”

“We 31-0,” he shouted to his DJ, which referenced his admiration of El Paso keeping his sold-out streak for the “Lil Sunny Tour” alive.

Throughout the first bit of his set, Rashad traded off songs from his first mixtape, “Cilvia Demo,” with tracks from his new album, “The Sun’s Tirade.” It fed the crowd well and each song had the die-hard fans rapping every lyric.

Songs like “Stuck in the Mud” and “Brenda” had the crowd swaying and singing along to the catchy hooks, while his performances of “Heavenly Father,” “Shot You Down” and “Park” made the lively crowd bounce.

Rashad is such a special rapper to witness live because he gives so much passion every time he hits the stage. To add an unusual part to the act, after each song he would flow without the beat to continue to keep the sentiment and innocence of the crowd alive. “I don’t usually do that—freestyle the verse or freestyle the setlist,” he told the crowd.

In fact, according to, which allows concert-goers to see what tracks the artist plays at a given show, Rashad strayed away from his usual setlist to play some old stuff for the El Paso crowd. Instead of crowd favorites such as “West Savannah” and “Brad Jordan” he spit out old flows such as “Webbie Flow,” “Menthol” and “Modest.” The decision didn’t rob the crowd of any different tastes from his usual show; rather it added uniqueness to his stop in El Paso that the fans seemed to appreciate.

His crowd favorite, “4r Da Squaw,” had the crowd chanting the rhymes, “by the beer, by ear, by boo… what yari saing? You ain’t nothing’ but a baby, your feat is growin’ up.” It was the perfect sending forth song for his set.

To close out the show, Rashad let Kendrick’s “Alright” play while he shook people’s hands in the crowd. It felt like Isaiah wanted to meet everyone in a genuine manner and wanted nothing more than to bring people together to simply jam out to his music.

El Paso might not get to see a rapper of the caliber of Rashad perform in an intimate setting such as the Lowbrow again. Let alone, they will probably never be able to see Rashad in a setting like that again, no matter where they go. Intimacy fused with quality meant a memorable stop on the “Lil Sunny Tour.”

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About the Contributor
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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Isaiah Rashad brings a unique intimacy to the Lowbrow