Rapper Isaiah Rashad addresses leaked sex tape for first time at Coachella


During his Coachella performance on Saturday night, the rapper Isaiah Rashad made his first public comments about a video that leaked in February that appeared to show him in a sexual situation with men.

Rashad, a fixture of the SoCal label Top Dawg Entertainment (alongside Kendrick Lamar and SZA), played a prerecorded video just before his Sahara Tent set. The short clip included media commentary and voiceovers about the unauthorized release of the footage. “The purpose of doing that was to embarrass him. However, it backfired,” said one voice in the clip.

The Times’ Mikael Wood and Suzy Exposito report live from the 2022 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.

April 18, 2022

While artists like Lil Nas X and Tyler, the Creator have opened up new room in hip-hop for for queer Black men, Rashad’s outing was against his will.


An emotional Rashad told the Coachella crowd that fan support had been a lifeline for him. “I see all the messages and all the positivity,” he said, to swells of cheers. “Y’all kept me alive these last couple months.”

The 30-year-old Rashad then played a typically incendiary set, featuring songs off his well-regarded 2021 LP “The House Is Burning” such as “RIP Young” and “Lay Wit Ya,” and “Rope // Rosegold,” from 2016’s “The Sun’s Tirade.”

Later in the show he was joined onstage by the buzzy new TDE signee Doechii for “Wat U Sed.”