Author: Briana Ellison
On Monday, August 8, rapper Isaiah Rashad released his latest single, titled “Free Lunch.” The song follows the release of the Tennessee native’s song “Smile” in January and his debut album “Cilvia Demo,” released in 2014.
“Free Lunch” begins with a jazzy and quick-spirited bass chord and a laid-back drumbeat. Rashad’s flow is urgent yet perfect, as he begins his rap. The song is all about negative and misleading outside influences, embodied by Rashad here as pills, other people and even commercialism.
As the song pertains to pills, Rashad raps about how they are used as a numbing mechanism, making people more susceptible to the control of other people. On “Free Lunch” this serves as the precursor to the larger issue of other people and commercialism. Through the relatable and realistic metaphor of a meal ticket, Rashad reminds us how much we depend on the information from and influences of the people and items around us.
Rashad name drops many of the most popular brands and products of our current society. By doing so, he shows how much our lives are saturated by branding and product placement, and how we rely on these products for validation. Though he doesn’t refer to any people specifically by name but in a broader sense, the references Rashad does make are pointed examples of the ways we depend on the input and opinions that come with our relationships often more than our own thoughts.
The title of “Free Lunch” is a sarcastic play on the information and input we get for free from outside influences, especially when they’re unwarranted. This latest song from Rashad is culturally and socially conscious while also being pleasing to the ear. As someone who’s often compared to and is grouped with artists such as Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar, Rashad does an amazing job of stating his own flow and differentiating himself from these other artists. “Free Lunch” is a sign of good things to come from the rapper’s sophomore album.