Top Dawg Entertainment founding member Jay Rock has had a tumultuous career, one that was stopped in its tracks by a horrific motorcycle wreck in February 2016, the same night Kendrick Lamar won five GRAMMYs for his work on To Pimp a Butterfly.
“[When] he got into the wreck, n***a, I was broke," Rashad said in episode three of the TDE YouTube series Road to Redemption. “I got all his shows. So like, n***a, if he wouldn’t have got into the wreck, I wouldn’t have got paid, The Sun’s Tirade wouldn’t have happened. As soon as he got into that wreck, I got shows I wouldn’t have gotten.”
Well, talk about a butterfly effect. Imagine the different world we would be living in if Jay Rock was at the GRAMMYs with Kendrick Lamar that night. At present, The Sun’s Tirade plays as Rashad’s crowning moment in hip-hop, a slow-burning album that has years of replay value.
Stories like these always beget myriad questions. Where would Rock and Rashad both be in 2018 if there was no motorcycle crash to speak of? Would Jay Rock not have felt the need to take a mainstream turn on his latest album, Redemption? Would Redemption have come out sooner? Would The Sun's Tirade even exist?
If one thing is for certain, we’re grateful Jay Rock made it to the other side of his crash and is still making music, and that Isaiah Rashad was able to release his best project to date. The circumstances are unfortunate, but the end products speak for themselves.