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Interview: Isaiah Rashad

TDE’s newest signee talks about his label’s reaction to Kendrick Lamar’s GQ cover story and his upcoming mixtape, Civilia.

December 19, 2013

Chattanooga-born TDE rapper Isaiah Rashad, who is profiled in our current issue, performed at this month's West Coast magazine release party at LA's Microsoft Experience. Before the show, he sat down to talk about his upcoming tape, Civilia, doing press as a new artist, and TDE founder and CEO Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith's response to GQ's recent Kendrick Lamar cover story. Rashad endorsed Tiffith's decision to pull Lamar from a planned GQ party performance and said he was disappointed, generally, with the way black people are portrayed in the media:

As far as like the GQ cover, I had to go read it myself, afterwards. Like, I didn't know anything about it—I didn't know [Kendrick] made GQ of the year until like it happened. I hit him up when it happened like, Yo, congrats or whatever. I guess as far as the way they like personified the label or whatever, I definitely agree with Top on the decision to pull it. I agree with him. It isn't the best personification of us right now. I don't wanna like, be that guy, but I don't like how black people are covered in the media period... I would think in 2013 going into 2014 with everything going along, it wouldn't be so—people just wouldn't say some of the things that they say. Like as an editor of some stuff, you should be wise enough or conscious enough about what's going on, about whatever change that people want to put into place is supposed to be active, and you're not supposed to let certain shit slide. As an editor, you're supposed to recognize, you're supposed to be the one to [say] this isn't right, people are gonna be offended by this, people aren't gonna like this. Especially if it's like some public shit.

Interview: Isaiah Rashad