This profile is part of Queerty’s 2022 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year, in celebration of National Coming Out Day.
Name: Isaiah Rashad, 31
Bio: Hailing from Chattanooga, Tennessee, this former Hardee’s employee had dreams of becoming a preacher. Thankfully, his stepbrother stepped in and introduced him to the OutKast album, ATLiens. And you could say that the rest is history.
The musician had his first big break in 2006, joining Juicy J on the Smoker’s Club Tour. Not long after, he signed with the noted Top Dawg Entertainment, a label that has signed artists like, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q, and SZA.
The pensive rapper released his first EP, Cilvia Demo, in January 2014. The EP emerged onto the Billboard 200 at number 40 and was met with widespread acclaim from music critics. Thanks to his overnight success, Rashad was included in XXL magazine’s annual Freshman Class feature.
Rashad went on to record his debut studio album, The Sun’s Tirade. A record filled with references of his struggle with alcohol, Xanax addiction, and depression, it was released in September 2016 and hit number 17 on the charts. In late July of 2021, he released his long-awaited second album, The House Is Burning.
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Coming Out: In late May 2022, Rashad opened up about his sexuality in a Patreon exclusive interview with media personality and former rapper Joe Budden.
“I’d say, like, I’m sexually fluid,” the emcee admitted. “I’m still learning about it myself. I’m putting my head in the books to find out the basics of it, but, basically, like, I’m not in full control of, when I walk into a room, of who I’m attracted to.”
Rashad went further saying, “I’m more attracted to a personality, and I’m attracted to the intellect. And sometimes it’s just being attracted to somebody.”
Unfortunately, Rashad’s right to come out on his own terms was callously ripped from him. A few months before his public announcement, a sex tape was leaked of the rapper. The less than 30-second clip featured Rashad having intimate encounters with other men, outing him.
After finding out about the leak, the musician told Budden that he “wrecked” his car and that it put him in a “dark place for a couple of weeks.”
“I was like, let me just chill for a couple of days and let me, like, figure out how I feel about this. Then I was kinda depressed about it. I’m like, damn somebody’s trying to hurt my feelings.”
As for legal action, later in the interview, he said, “I haven’t even been thinking about it, honestly. I been just keeping my mind together, and it’s a time for my family to come together.”
Not only has his family been supportive after the leak, but many of his fans have come to his support as well.
“If anything, I can’t be mad at everything about it. I always gotta look at the brighter side of stuff.”
Since coming out as sexually fluid, the rapper has been in a place of zen. Stating that therapy, his psychiatrist, “just talking to the homies,” and general mantras have helped him get there.
Rashad’s journey has been studded with unspeakable heartlessness, but we’re glad that he found his calm and is finding out more about himself with each day.