Top Dawg Entertainment launched its fan appreciation week on April 20. TDE’s CEO Top Dawg announced the weeklong celebration on his birthday, as a birthday gift from himself to the fans. Kicking things off strong with the return of new Ab Soul music, his first release in three years, it looks like fans will surely appreciate the abundance of new music from the underutilized roster. Keeping up the momentum, TDE kept the pace going with the release of two new tracks from Zacari. With more new releases expected daily, CTRL will review each TDE Fan Appreciation Week release.
Day 1: Dangerookipawaa Freestyle, Ab-Soul
Relatively remaining silent for the last three years, Ab-Soul returns like he never left. Since the release of his last solo album in 2016, Do What Thou Wilt, Soul went under the radar much like most of the TDE roster, but when he comes back, he reassures that he deserves all the attention. Kicking off TDE fan appreciation week, Soul launches a ferocious attack with the Dangerookipawaa Freestyle. Without any warning, Soul reminds everyone about his presence in the rap game, and his talents that somehow go unnoticed. Soul doesn’t need to force recognition onto himself, but due to label restrictions, the rapper was never really able to reach his full potential. Name checking John Mayer and Kendrick Lamar, paying tribute to Mac Miller, while referencing and channelling Eminem and the Kamikaze era, Soul is relentless, and that’s what fans like to hear.
Day 2: Edamame, and This Woman’s Work, Zacari
Up next front and center, Zacari is TDE’s latest chosen boy to release new music. Unlike Ab Soul, the singer drops two new songs. Making his breakthrough on Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize winning album DAMN, the twenty-four-year-old continues to infuse pop and R&B for a sound that has became his brand. Edamame is your typical Zacari formulated single, that is built upon textured melodies as he goes back and forth with his emotions, all completed with his signature falsetto. Meanwhile, the better song of the two, This Woman’s Work is a flip of Kate Bush’s classic of the same name. Featuring fellow emerging artist, Che Ecru, the track samples the Kate Bush track with ease.
Day 3: Why Worry, Isaiah Rashad
Four years later, and just like that, Isaiah Rashad is back. In 2016, Rashad released his debut album, The Sun's Tirade, an impressive refinement of his previous efforts, which include the critically acclaimed EP, Cilvia Demo. The project helped established the rapper as yet another rapper on the TDE roster with an immense amount of potential. As years went on, and with little to no information on what's to come, Rashad remained silent, while his fans remained hopeful.
On Day 3 of TDE Fan Appreciation Week, Rashad made his not so eventful but noteworthy return with a 2017 loosie, Why Worry. Much like the ordinary, the rapper remains cool, calm, and collective, as he approaches the soulful sample from former TDE collaborator, Crooklin. It's introspective, it's mellow, and it has all the qualities of a formulated rap song that's essential for any chill playlist. If you were expecting Isaiah Rashad's first official solo release since 2016 to be a grand and extravagant return to form, be sure to be disappointed, but it's a track right up his alley.
Day 4: Rapper Weed, SiR feat. Boogie
On the fourth day of TDE Appreciation Week, SiR recruits Boogie for the new song Rapper Weed. On the ultimate west coast collective, SiR glides with ease on a sound that’s similar to his most recent release, Chasing Summer. Going back and forth with his signature balance of singing and rapping, the Inglewood artist provides an easy, breezy listen. Meanwhile Compton’s own Boogie taps himself in with his signature west coast flow. With his slew of recent releases, SiR has mastered his own sound that listeners can easily identify with. The rapper accomplished the not-so-easy feat of finding his lane and sticking with it.
Day 5: Might Not Make It, REASON
It’s day five, and the latest TDE rapper to step up to the plate with a new release is no other than REASON. Launching his new era with the single Might Not Make It, off of his upcoming studio album, New Beginnings. On the song the rapper packs a punch with an abundance of lyrical references that keeps the listener on the edge. Just hours before release, REASON posted a cryptic Instagram videos of handwritten names which included everyone from the likes of fellow TDE members Kendrick Lamar and SZA to Kanye West and Rihanna to everyone in-between such as The Kardashians and Donald Trump.
The wise technical abilities of the rappers lyrical display is his formulated scenarios that provides insight to bringing a song title to life. On this song in particular, the Carson-native scheduled his doomsday as he name-drops the A-Listers from his Instagram post. With a classic west coast sound, and conversation starting lyrics, the song is arguably the most interesting TDE release of the week.
Check back in, and stay tuned for what else TDE has in store.