IsaiahG is Setting the Foundation to Elevate His Music to New Heights

Photos by  Michael Salisbury

IsaiahG is a one of a kind, a grounded individual and one who is always thinking years into the future. When asked what he wants to be known for 5 years from now, Isaiah responded “I want to be known as the most unique rapper, who can rap nerdy and in the most catchy way possible at the same time”. After learning of Isaiah’s journey thus far, it's easy to understand his response.

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Isaiah spent his time in vastly different scenes around the Chicagoland area, living with his mother on the south side, while also visiting his father in the suburb of Flossmoor. He attended the famous Jones College Prep, where he was exposed to a whole new world of creativity. “It opened my eyes to a lot of creative shit, I got to see the lake everyday, people dressing in weird ways, Jones gave me a new way to see things”. Although, Jones played an intrical part in his growth as a person, the real development in his music was on the internet during his high school years. One of his first experiences was in a Rap Genius forum rap battle. In this battle, each contestant uploaded their verses with a soundcloud link and the forum community would up vote the winners. Isaiah's natural talent got him to the finals and it kick-started his music career.
Isaiah left the competition with his first true fan base, but was still in search of his own natural sound to set himself apart from the rest. He became a student of the rap genre by listening to veteran artists like Mobb Deep and Biggie and new school voices like Joey Bada$$. One night while recording in his attic on 73rd and Loomis, it all came together. Isaiah found his signature, a low nasally delivery while recording that became a staple of his music. 

This period of time was also the start of Isaiah’s versatile sound from the beats he chose to his rapid fire-flow he often utilizes. These two aspects are in part thanks to three people, the first being Isaiah’s father who in part influenced the type of beats he often raps over. “My dad likes smooth jazz, so when I got into rapping and picking my style I always liked jazzy trap instrumentals. They are hard to find, but those were my favorite shit.” As far as the many different flows Isaiah uses, he points to two artists as huge influences in the progression of his music. “What I was trying to do with my music is never use the same flow twice and there were only two artists doing that Kendrick and Chance. They both could do anything, versatile and able to rap on different instrumental while also having their signature aesthetic. [That Talent] is what I continuously worked on and I think I got it now.”

From here Isaiah crafted his first hits “Colors” and “Cheesin”. Those two songs were his first to do notable numbers from his perspective, and they even got praise from Rap Genius' twitter account and famous Youtube music reviewer “theNeedleDrop”. After this, Isaiah took a brief hiatus during his freshman year of college and came back strong dropping “Hazard Lights” near the end of the school year that gave him all the confidence he needed going into summer 2015.
To categorize Isaiah’s summer of 2015 as a grind would be an understatement.  He attended almost every rap show that summer, some of his favorite being Saba and Hurt Everybody. However, his most important moment of 2015 was him attending cyphers around the city, where he made a lot of connections, notably with his now managers Frank Minicino, Elliot Montanez and well known Chicago videographer Cole Bennett. His hustle during the second half of 2015 paid dividends in 2016, where he dropped a few videos with Cole Bennett. At the same time, he also dropped a popular freestyle series, and continued making more connections which put his name on the map in Chicago.

The grind did not stop when he was in school, and he decided to get involved in a musical collective on campus called 3V. The 2016 music scene at U of I was unlike any other as it saw the rise of the Canopy Club, a music venue that eventually became a networking hub for artists on campus. 

“2nd semester of sophomore year this group 3V got formed where creatives came together to create something that could be a movement. My friends also were setting up shows at Canopy Club on campus, where I met all my music friends at U of I like Ausar and CJ Run. Everybody at U of I got really good, I don’t know if we are competing with each other, but we see each other working hard [as motivation]”. Multiple examples like this have quickly turned U of I into place for aspiring new artists who went the college route, but also continue to pursue their music dreams at the same time. This was a great benefit to Isaiah as it helped grow his fan base, as well as give him an added push to continue to further his sound.

Fast-forward to now, Isaiah has kept his momentum from 2016, performing on multiple stages around the city including an opening spot for Smokepurrp. He’s collabed on songs with buzzing names like Supa Bwe and Saba, and he’s about to drop his EP “Know Space”. When asked what to expect from the project Isaiah responded, “Know Space is more of an underground feeling, as well as free sample of what’s coming on my full length album”. “The meaning behind the title is that my music is known to sound spacy, as well as my name has no space, its IsaiahG, not Isaiah G." 

“I make songs for summer nights, like Lake Shore Drive cruisin. Versatile music, shit you can bump with a nice little kickback in your car and in your headphones.” Based on his recent releases “Queso” and “Cutlass” he is accomplishing this objective to near perfection. “I want to be 5 years ahead of my time with my music” Isaiah said, and with this tireless work ethic and foresight, Isaiah is on course to make a futuristic impact on the music community sooner rather than later. 

Follow IsaiahG: Twitter / Soundcloud