Rapper Isaiah Rashad has a loose jazzy flow. Rashad, 25, released his debut full-length last year, "The Sun Tirade." Born and raised in eastern Tennessee, Rashad, who has since spent time in L.A., collaborating with rappers like Kendrick Lamar, has a connection to nature and to faith. He's said that he considered being a preacher before becoming more interested in pot and hip-hop.
His whole style is sort of sensitive. Rashad has been outspoken about his struggles with depression and alcohol. He's a big proponent of candor — and naps. There's a mystic, weedy strain to some of his tracks. The beats are crisp and funky, and Rashad can deliver some of his raps in a mushy, shamanic haze, while elsewhere he adopts a precise attack. A slowed-down dub aesthetic makes Rashad's tracks easy to soak up. But he doesn't stay in low gear; a song like "Don't Matter" has a driving beat that would sound at home on an OutKast record.
Isaiah Rashad takes the stage at Toad's Place, 300 York St., New Haven, Monday, April 3, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $20. 203-624-8623, toadsplace.com.