By Jackson Beach
Over the past few years, I have begun expanding my music palate through Spotify by discovering new artists that have their own styles and influences. Some of these artists are socially conscious, meaning they rap about contemporary issues and those that have occurred over many centuries and are still ongoing to this day. One of these artists is King Iso, who is signed to one of the biggest underground rap labels in the business, Strange Music, founded by legendary rapper Tech N9ne. Even though some of its biggest names like Krizz Kaliko and Stevie Stone have moved on to bigger things in this decade through founding their own labels or going independent, Iso has continued to interest fans with his emotional and resonant songs pertaining to his mental health struggles, depression, and suicidal tendencies and fast raps demonstrating his lyrical prowess. Some of these problems have even occurred as a result of his upbringing and fallouts with his previous label, Brainsick Music and its CEO, underground legendary “chopper” Twisted Insane.
Currently, Iso is working on his third album, which pertains to struggles he has encountered within his family, such as his kids and his father leaving him. However, for his latest single, “Way You Are”, Iso communicates to the world about his son’s own autism, specifically ASD, and how autistic people are scrutinized by a problematic world. These problems are explained by the lines “Wrong’s what they might’ve been, they like “What he mean?”/ My kid’s three years old and it’s troubling to see them study him like they studied me/ Sensory overload when they missing their homies though and now they gotta do some other things” & “I don’t understand how they can judge a baby, maybe that ain’t it but that is what it seems/ Maybe it’s not the genes, always what we see”. These lines show how autistic people continued to be viewed as “outcasts” to society and frequently bullied. Iso always opens up about his OCD as seen in “They say you got OCD and the logic you need without structure can be hard times/They plead about your sensitivity, can’t be dirty, just clean, blocking out all the screams all night/Need a routine just to ease our mind but we about to go COD offline”.
This song shows just how important neurodivergent are to society as they can help raise awareness with their abilities and special needs, despite them being “different”. Iso emphasizes this with “All I see is young kings and a bunch of queens who are just different and not battling a disease”. Iso says that autism and other neurodivergent disorders are not diseases and that they should be treated better than they normally are. Iso even has a video where his autistic son makes an appearance: