BRACKETS #3: Isaiah Rashad vs. Schoolboy Q

It’s a TDE Battle!!!!!!!!!!!! This week – on BRACKETS – we have two of my faves from Top Dawg Entertainment, Isaiah Rashad and Schoolboy Q. I’ve been listening to Q longer, because he’s been a part of TDE longer, but Isaiah Rashad as definitely scooped up my little heart. And he also taught me how to spell “Isaiah” because…the struggle was definitely REAL lol. Let’s get into it.

ROUND 1: SPOTIFY TOP 10

HOW MANY SONGS FROM THEIR TOP 10 SONGS ON SPOTIFY (AS OF JUNE 19TH 2020) POP UP ON MY SPOTIFY LIKED TRACKS PLAYLIST.

So we have:

I think even with my fakeness, Isaiah still wins this category. Just off of a quick scan of the songs on both of these lists, I see more songs from Isaiah that I listen to more often. I do have to give some shout outs to Q, though. “Collard Greens,” “Man of the Year,” and “Studio” were POPPING when they came out. I remember thinking that that was going to be the point of no return for Q – I didn’t think that he would be automatically boosted up to Kendrick Lamar level, but those songs seemed to show that he had the ability to gain some mainstream appeal. And then “THat Part” came out and boosted him up a little bit more. However, for me personally, I find myself craving Isaiah’s music more. I went through a week last month where all I wanted to do was listen to “Free Lunch” and “4r Da Squaw.” So Zay has this category, but I do love “Numb Numb Juice.”

ROUND 2: DISCOGRAPHY

QUALITY OF THE PROJECTS THEY RELEASED BEFORE I STARTED LISTENING TO THEM (BASED ON THE LIST ON THEIR WIKI PAGES)

ISAIAH RASHAD: I started listening to Isaiah when Cilvia Demo (2014) came out, and according to Wikipedia (lol) and my own (semi-unreliable) knowledge, that’s the first project he dropped for public consumption. So he doesn’t really have anything for this round, but I will take this chance to say that Cilvia Demo is an amazing project.

speaking of isaiah rashad…

SCHOOLBOY Q: I started listening to Schoolboy Q shortly after Habits & Contradictions (2012) came out. I knew Setbacks (2011) existed, but he has some other mixtapes listed on his Wiki that I didn’t know about. I don’t know why i haven’t listened to Setbacks yet, but because I haven’t listened to any pre-H&C music from Q, I have to give this round to Isaiah.

ROUND #3: REPEAT VALUE

WHO HAVE I LISTENED TO THE MOST DURING THE PAST YEAR (BETWEEN JULY 3 2019 AND JULY 3 2020)

Here are the numbers (per Last.FM):

I’m not surprised at all to see Isaiah’s number is so high. Like I mentioned earlier, there was a period of time last month or a couple months ago where I was just listening to a lot of music from The Sun’s Tirade (2016). I also finally listened to that entire project a couple weeks ago, while out on a walk with my mom, so that also raised the number that little bit. The only thing that I can really think of that I listen to from Q consistently within the past year was a couple of songs from Crash Talk (2019) – mostly “Numb Numb Juice” and “Dangerous.” It also looks like the amount of different tracks that I listened to within the year is a lot higher for Isaiah Rashad (info I never noticed Last.FM had until just now lol), so I think that counts for a lot as well. He wins this round.

ROUND #4: IMPACT ON MY LIFE

I think this round very easily goes to Isaiah Rashad. I remember a bunch of times in high school – after Cilvia Demo came out – just listening to “Heavenly Father” a lot in my room. I think that song is so special. I already kind of mentioned my feelings about “Heavenly Father” in a M.F.O.A.T. for some of Zay’s songs, which you can read here, but I really can’t say enough about this song. Like I mentioned before, I first heard this song song during a point in my life where I was starting to feel the inklings some issues with my mental health. And with that came a lot of feelings of loneliness and the inability for me to feel like I could express the things that I was going through. And because music was – and has stayed – an important way for me to express my feelings, I (would) often look towards the music to find relief. There weren’t a lot of artists talking about mental health at that point. It was still very much taboo (no Denzel lol). The only person that I can think of that was really bringing those kinds of conversations to the forefront – at that time (that I was listening to) – was Kid Cudi. And so when Cilvia Demo came out, it was so refreshing to hear Isaiah be so vulnerable and open about his mental health. And it really kind of gave me a little bit of relief knowing that someone that I enjoyed listening to and appreciated was dealing with some of the same things that I felt like I was experiencing. It made me feel less alone. And so I will always appreciate Isaiah Rashad for that.

BONUS ROUND: I LOVE TDE

I can’t really think of a good bonus round for the two of them. So I think I’m just going to take this opportunity to give Top Dawg Entertainment some props and give them both a point. I started listening to them during my sophomore year in high school, after a friend recommended kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city (2012). And from there, they’ve made some really amazing projects and also been a part of introducing me to some really amazing folks. I feel like TDE doesn’t always make a whole bunch of noise – they’re not always the loudest – but they make a really big impact. Every person on that label is amazingly talented including Isaiah Rashad and Schoolboy Q. And I really hope that we have a bunch more Top Dawg projects on the way.

NOW FOR THE TALLY…

Isaiah Rashad is finishing with 5 rounds won, and Schoolboy Q is finishing with 1, so BRACKET #3 is going to Isaiah Rashad, “the moons and the stars below my feet.”

Let us update the bracket, shall we???


And there we have it. Zay is our third BRACKETS winner, and he’ll be going against Denzel Curry in a couple of weeks.

Check out the BRACKETS landing page here! Check out the live BRACKETS tournament page here! And you can download a pdf version of the blank BRACKETS tournament below ❤

UNTIL NEXT TIME!


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