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Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Hip Hop Alternative


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Milwaukee rapper IshDARR has been toying with his sound for years now. "I learned how to stop limiting myself to try new things and voice tones," he told Complex over email. "It's to the point now where if I want to do it all myself—rap, sing, produce, everything—I had no boundaries on this tape." Growing up in the Milwaukee scene has given him inspiration over the years, but he says, it's been progressing too slowly—with the exception of Webster X and Job Jetson. But today, it's his time to shine with the debut of his album, Old Soul Young Spirit.

Taking inspiration from Wu-Tang to TDE, Chance the Rapper, and more, IshDARR showcases seemingly effortless technical abilities over shimmering, soulful production throughout the full tape. His favorite song on the project, "For You," kicks things off with one of his most impressive songs to date, something he says came about naturally within minutes.
"For You": This record is my favorite on the project. The title speaks for itself. My whole concept for this tape was creating a tape that everyone I know can listen to. It has no set audience. It's for you and everybody literally.

"Right Now": I remember writing this track a few weeks or so after just getting back from the Ab-Soul These Days tour. It was most definitely one of the best experiences of my life. That of course sparked some noise from the people around me, but wanted to let them know I had to stay focused on the here and now.

"Only You": I ask that everyone learns these lyrics. It was on the plane to Cali actually for the first time that I wrote this. I wanted to write music on the plane, but was like dang no laptop, no WiFi, nothing but the beats on my phone. It's about a dream girl I envisioned back then.

"Vibe": This track hit home for me soon as I heard the beat. It's smooth and gets my energy going when it snaps in. Most definitely was vibing the hell out while in the studio recording this.

"Overdue Interlude": Shouts my boy Canis Major. One of my favorite producers due to the time we built. This track is a long statement basically. I kind of let it all out on this interlude. For my family, the city, and just about me personally.

"SquadTwo.0": A part two of the original Squad from The Better Life EP. This was most def for my Squad homies worldwide. Mad I didn't get to shoutout them all, but they know who they are regardless if names are said.

"Its Like": Once I heard the beat....I said F it, I'm about to go in. Wanted to address how it is "making it out." It's like everyone is trying to do it, but only for themselves. It's a way we can do it all at the same time.

"Too Bad": If you have any sort of ..... when this comes on, SPARK UP. Most definitely lives up to its name. My party, turn-up song on the tape. I loved the energy of the beat as soon as I heard it and went from there.

"Hol'UP" f/ Saba: Very real record for myself. I noticed many people trying to pull from my energy at the time of some important events in this past year. But it's like hold up, literally.... and of course Saba put the cherry on top. I thank him for that, being arguably my favorite Chicago artist was most definitely amazing.

"Remember": Let's just say she knows who it's for, hope she remembers too. She's been by my side this whole experience.

"Twelve": Police been wilding lately. All around the country, most def needs to stop. Just sharing my opinion on it, which I'm gonna always stand by the people/ my people. So like I said in the chorus......

"Still on It" f/ Tommy Boozewell: This track is the realest on the project. A lot of stuff was happening during this time in my life with my fam and wanted to just kind of let it out on this track. Shouts to my bro Tommy Boozewell for the flame verse as well. - Complex

IshDARR has been bubbling into something of a force over the past year and his growth culminates – for now – on this highly-anticipated release Old Soul, Young Spirit mixtape.

At 12 songs in length, the biggest project to date from this 18-year-old offers a polished palette for the audible ace to take listeners on a journey through his Milwaukee hometown, from a first hand P.O.V. Featuring bouncy songs to ride out to (“Too Bad” and “The Vibe”) and gliding cuts that bring out his introspective best (“Still On It”), the project dabbles in various subjects, but all of them essentially find the technically impressive MC coming of age on wax and in turn, building his confidence right in front of our ears.

Listen to Ish kick his story below, then download the project here after you dig it. - UPROXX

If you've yet to visit Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and you're curious what the blue collar, Midwestern city is all about, IshDARR is your man. On his brand new album, Old Soul Young Spirit, the buzzmaker takes listeners on a guided tour of his hometown.

Included on the free, 12-track release, premiered by our friends at COMPLEX, are previously-featured selections "Vibe" and "Too Bad."

OSYS, which sports only two guest feature artists, does boast behind-the-boards contributions from a litany of up-and-coming producers, including Arthur Mcarthur, Canis Major, Krooks N Kops, Millz Douglas, Odd Couple and more. - Dj Booth

Last year, Milwaukee’s IshDARR staked claim as one of the more talented pure rappers in a city bubbling with exciting new artists and perspectives in hip-hop. On songs like “Nothing,” IshDARR made his raw ability abundantly clear, a young emcee capable of impressive technical displays that never felt forced or unnecessarily showy.

New single “Too Bad” adds a bit of flair to IshDARR’s formula, forcing inventiveness with a beat that combines future bass bounce and traditional rap rhythm. More importantly, “Too Bad” feels like the most complete song in the young rapper’s catalog, a fuller vision than simply a collection of impressive rhymes.

IshDARR’s debut album Old Soul, Young Spirit is coming soon and, if you’re lucky, you can catch him in the streets and various venues of SXSW. - Pigeons & Planes

After delivering three incredibly solid singles in 2015 so far ("Down", "Vibe" and "Too Bad"), Milwaukee upstart IshDARR comes through with his debut full-length, Old Soul, Young Spirit. At 12 tracks total, the LP features 2/3 of the previously leaked singles, plus 10 new joints from the 2Dope to Sleep On alum – with production from Canis Major, J Gramm, Odd Couple and more. - 2DopeBoyz

Have you guys heard Ish Darr? My flatmate’s been playing him on repeat for the last month and basically, he’s your new favourite rapper. The songs on his latest mixtape Old Soul Young Spirit hit instantly with the confidence of someone who turned down meetings with record labels. “Only You” – which samples French Kiwi Juice is my favourite and, coming up off the back of our premiere with Webster X earlier this year, it seems like Milwaukee’s rap scene is one to keep an eye on - Ryan Bassil

Place of origin: Milwaukee, USA - Noisey

We’ve made our praise of Milwaukee native IshDARR pretty open so far, but if you didn’t get the message the first few times, let us be clear right now: DO NOT sleep on this guy. Although still only eighteen years old, his age shouldn’t fool you; IshDARR is the real deal, and Old Soul, Young Spirit is his way of putting his stamp on the game.

Old Soul, Young Spirit is a solid project through and through, representing the strides the burgeoning talent has made in just a few months since the release of The Better Life EP. What’s most remarkable is the way he approaches each track, as he brings with him a melodic cadence and astute lyricism that in many ways builds on the best qualities of Chance The Rapper & GoldLink. Rapping with a youthful ferocity that’s balanced by a mature composure, IshDARR could not have chosen a more appropriate name for his project.

You can preview some of our favorite selections from the mixtape below, but if you’d like the full experience, head over to IshDARR’s official SoundCloud page and also make sure to download a copy for yourself. - The Music Ninja

Wisconsin i a hub of many things — beer, cheese, serial killers — but Milwaukee sill has a long way to go before it can be considered a hip-hop mecca. But 18-year-old IshDARR is setting out to change that with his latest Old Soul Young Spirit.

Complex premiered the album earlier this week, giving IshDARR free reign to annotate the release track-by-track, and the high-minded youngster drops plenty of nuggets about touring with Ab-Soul, police brutality, and the elbow grease that went into the album. And, on “It’s Like,” he take to the mic to express his love for his hometown, a sentiment which, judging by the album, isn’t expressed enough.

He notes that opener “For You” is his favorite track on the album, but it’s truly “Overdue Interlude,” and incensed freestyle, where IshDARR rips open the jangling beat to profess his purpose. In his own words, IshDARR said the song “is a long statement basically,” adding: “I kind of let it all out on this interlude. For my family, the city, and just about me personally.”

Few tracks stand out in terms of production — most of the beats are your standard trap joints that have claps, hi-hats, and woofer-rattling bass — but J Gramm cooks up something undeniably infectious on “Too Bad.” The downmodulated chorus and mesmerizing swirls of keys pair with a manic chant to make the song a unique party beat you might expect from Kendrick Lamar or Chance the Rapper.

Speaking of rappers IshDARR conjures on Old Soul Yong Spirit, there are plenty of verses where the Midwest rhymer inspires allusions to Broke Beats darling F.Stokes. Both are wizards with wordplay. Both punctuate their bars with great bouts of energy, and both have an almost poetic feel, though IshDARR’s titular young spirit separates him from the elder Wisconsinite. He swaps flows with all the rollicking emotion of a burgeoning teenager (“Remember”), though he’s certainly has the worldweary scope of an older soul.

The dynamic makes the rising emcee worth watching, especially if IshDARR can bring up the whole Milwaukee scene with him. -

Although the Trap sound is alive and well throughout the country, there are plenty of artists making feel good, laid back tracks for the not too far off summer. Milwaukee’s IshDARR is one of those artists. The 18 year old just put out his next single for his upcoming Old Soul, Young Spirit project (3/4). The J-Gramm produced cut could be your next favorite song to play on the way to the many music festivals you’ll attend this season. This one is for the squad. If you’re headed to SXSW, you can catch IshDARR at a few showcases. - The Source

We’ve been anticipating this one. IshDARR turned our heads last year with a handful of knock-out tracks that showcased the lyrical side of the then-17-year-old Milwaukee rapper. There was nothing subtle about them: Those early tracks played like a talent reel, spotlighting IshDARR’s gift for stacking syllables into ever-climbing towers of metaphors and internal rhyme. He was flagrantly showing off.

A year later, though, IshDARR has passed the point of needing to prove he can rap. The songs he teased in the lead up to his full-length debut Old Soul Young Spirit have been roomier, less uptight. He no longer feels the need to cram every nook and cranny of every track with wordplay; he’s learned to let them breathe. A little bit of Chance the Rapper’s jazziness has crept into his delivery, too, so he glides over these tracks, speeding up his flow when he’s fired up, and pulling back when the beat begs to ride out on its own.

And those aren’t the only tricks he’s learned. IshDARR spent the last year playing shows, and that experience working crowds comes through on Old Soul, which is livelier, punchier and more party-minded he debut EP The Better Life. These songs were designed to send hands in the air. “Ride Now” bounces authoritatively, while “Too Bad” throws IshDARR’s conscious-rap leanings to the wind with a massive crunk beat and spazzed-out hook. The year is young, but so far this is the Milwaukee rap album to top in 2015. - Shepherd Express


Still working on that hot first release.



Ishmael Ali born in 1996, better known as IshDARR, is an American hip hop recording artist from Milwaukee, WI. IshDARR began taking music seriously at a young age and then spent his high school years recording and working on his sound. In April, 2014, while being a senior in high school he released his debut EP, The Better Life EP. The EP gradually moved around and was featured on major blogs including The Source, 2DopeBoyz, UPROXX, Hypetrak, and many more. The Better Life EP launched him into a year of shows opening for School Boy Q, Ab-Soul, and others as well as recording his first full length project. Old Soul, Young Spirit was released via Complex Magazine in March 2015 to amazing reviews. Including the explosive release of his single, Too Bad, which hit  #1 on the Hype Machine Charts and stayed there for three days. With several shows at SXSW and an upcoming midwest tour with IAMSU!, 2015 is shaping up to be the year that IshDARR proves he is here to stay. He is a talent to watch out for, wise beyond his years, and aware of the work it takes to be great. True to the title of IshDARR's album, he is calling out to us to have fun, stay young, enjoy every one of life's blessings, and never forget to pay attention to what's happening around you.

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