DeAndre Washington’s Albums of the Decade

DeAndre Washington, Arts & Entertainment Editor


1.) The Sun’s Tirade by Isaiah Rashad (2016)

This album encompasses what many of my first days in college felt like. I didn’t know what to do with where I was and with that came looking for something to hold onto. The Sun’s Tirade is a body of work that explains cause and the effects of that cause. Isaiah Rashad’s sophomore album reflects both where he’s been since his 2014 debut Cilvia Demo; and why it took so long for him to come back from that place. Addiction can be gruesome but what’s even more painful is not knowing how to separate yourself from what makes living easier. For a 20 something, to want freedom from the mind sometimes looks like escapism. The Sun’s Tirade details how escapism makes transitioning into another part of your life easier than it should be. 


2.) Sonder Son by Brent Faiyaz (2017)

We tend to run when walking doesn’t seem to work so much. Sonder Son came out at a time where I began understanding why I left home for Atlanta. “LA” is track seven on the album with a hook that encompasses what being a kid with a dream feels like. “It’s all in all better than being broke, bored, and back at home” resonated with me being that home began to feel like a PlayStation 2 video game; a lot of the same places I grew to know with the same directions to get there. Faiyaz reminds listeners that being young means taking the risk even if the results aren’t clear. I fear the world around me more often than not given this new understanding of how precious life is. Brent gives 12 tracks that bring solace to that anxiousness about what’s next. 


3.) And After That We Didn’t Talk by Goldlink (2015)

This album came out around my junior year of high school. To this day I remember being at my internship desk reminiscing about a romance that hadn’t ended yet. Goldlink wrote about what I was experiencing before I even realized that it was happening. To be young is to think the world of what might actually only be a moment in time. Zipporah, track two on the album reflects on that young romance with mature meditation. Goldlink realizes where things went wrong, understands they were young, and still wishes her well in the next transition of her life. Throughout the rest of that album Goldlink bounces between reminiscing and accepting where things ended in his past. The final track brings together the album with it being both memoir and middle finger to those he once loved. I love this album given that it gives perspective to how fleeting high school romance more than anything else. 


4.) Chasing Summer by SiR (2019) 

This album came out earlier this year but it delivered well enough for me to realize how amazing of an artist SiR is. From the beginning of the album to the end, SiR creates what love can feel like, what wanting more for yourself feels like, and being away from home for too long can become if you allow it. I love this album more when you learn that almost none of the stories on Chasing Summer reflect SiR’s perspective. His writing puts you into the world of someone he knows or something he has endured himself so much that it feels like you’re living that moment. “Wires In The Way” is the song that makes me ponder the what if moments that we don’t allow to happen. As simple as the words may sound, SiR gives you feelings that you either felt before or brings you to a feeling that you will experience more than once in life. 


5.) So Much Fun by Young Thug (2019)

Out of every Young Thug album I could choose, this album culminates the work Thug has put into his craft as an artist. Say what you want about him, the artist also known as Jeffrey makes not having structure my favorite thing in music. What makes this album my favorite out of his ever growing catalogue is that it represents everything he’s done to prove his naysayers wrong. Creating a label full of artists that reflect a different part of his career, finding his voice through the different albums he’s created himself, and solidifying himself as an influential artist of this decade among the others. I struggle with wanting too much structure in what I do; Young Thug looks at structure and breaks that apart with every song he touches. The level of unpredictability in his music makes being a fan even better. If there was ever a song I’d want a music video from it would be “Jumped Out The Window”. That song tells a story that’s wild from start to finish. 


6.) Ego Death by The Internet (2015) 

I’m not sure where I was when I first heard this album. But I do remember how important it was that I spent time listening to “Palace/Curse”. The Internet created an album out of sheer love for their craft. I loved the fact that they realized their individual strengths and applied those to the album in their respective ways. At the time I was apart of a few poetry slam teams. I didn’t notice how beautiful it was then to be apart of such a space. Ego Death represents a time that I didn’t think I would make it through. Looking back now makes me wonder what I would’ve done differently if I had never listened to “Get Away” by accident on Youtube.


7.) Cilvia Demo by Isaiah Rashad (2014)

I chose this album to end the list because it’s where I began to learn to appreciate writing in music again. When Cilvia Demo came out, like the other albums on this list, I was in a transition in my life of figuring out who I was. “My daddy taught how to leave somebody” on the opening track “Hereditary” rang more true in high school than I would’ve thought. Isaiah Rashad showed me that it was okay to not have it all figured out. That even through all the things you go through that there’s light at the end of that pain you’re experiencing. I listen to this album now with a different lens; one that’s more polished to the idea that I’m better than where I was before. I wish I could still hear this project for the first time again.

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