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Since signing to Top Dawg Entertainment in 2013, the hype surrounding 22-year-old Isaiah Rashad has skyrocketed with all eyes on what his first TDE offering will be. And while we wait for his highly anticipated Cilvia mixtape to drop, the Chattanooga native took the time to sit down with Complex for their “Who is…?” series for fans and those unfamiliar with the young rapper to get a closer look at how he got to the position he’s in now. In the interview, Rashad discusses his early rap upbringing, his first BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher, his experience signing to TDE, and more.

On his rap beginnings:
“Rapping has been the highlight of my life for the past couple of years. I went from recording in college dorm room closets, where you had to take the bookshelves out, unscrew the bar where you hang your clothes up, and put a covering in that bitch. Coming out here was the first time I got into a real studio. But I like the home feeling. I did that so much that I really like recording at the crib. The closer I am to the basics of shit, the better I feel recording.”

On signing to TDE:
“Getting signed to TDE is like I got accepted into the college I really wanted to be in. Except they didn’t have all of those bogus ass classes. Ain’t got to take a math class to graduate and shit. But, I will need an accountant if I do this shit the right way. Hopefully, I will need that type of math class. Other than that, I got Punch [TDE president Terrence “Punch” Henderson] as a professor.”

On the TDE BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher:
“That was frustrating. Imagine you having your verse ready and some nigga come with 64-84 bars and he hi-fiving and all that. And before he do his shit it’s like regular like, ‘Y’all niggas tore it up.’ Then you standing there watching another nigga do his shit for four minutes. It’s like, ‘Damn. I really hope they don’t forget we was here.’ That’s what the cypher was like. It helped me though, it made it even tighter. We won.”

READ ISAIAH RASHAD’S FULL COMPLEX INTERVIEW

And listen to his latest track “Brad Jordan” below.

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