Laced with built in quality features, “Cruel Summer” serves as a launching pad for upcoming solo efforts from the talented roster. Come for the previously released bangers you have heard Kanye let loose on, but stay for the unheard tracks that add depth to this compilation album.
G.O.O.D. Music’s long awaited Cruel Summer finally hit stores this week. Although it was mysteriously missing from iTunes, that didn’t stop listeners from guzzling down this eclectic album start to finish. From the legendary R. Kelly on the album’s opener, “To The World”, to the infamous Jay-Z on the street thumping “Clique”, Cruel Summer is chock full of features, traditional and new age hip-hop, experimental voice effects and resounding, crisp production.
Much credit is due to Mr. West, who proves once again he is a maestro at music composition. The album plays out like a rap-opera, taking the listener on a journey of music exploration. If you were expecting a Kanye West free-for-all though, that’s not what this album was about. Mr. West only appears on seven of the album’s twelve tracks. Rather, he lets the tracks breathe and gives artists like CyHi Da Prince, Teyana Taylor, Pusha T,2 Chainz, Big Sean and even Kid Cudi the chance to deliver the goods. John Legend, Common, Mase and Marsha Ambrosius also have guest appearances.
So get off Kanye’s “Scott Disik”, this was about raising the awareness of G.O.O.D. Music and where they are heading with their craft. It also didn’t hurt to have features from New York rap legends and former Wu Tang Financier’s, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. Needless to say, they’re still stone cold murderers.
Kanye West did his thing on the songs he was featured on. From “Mercy”, “Clique”, “New God Flow”, “I Don’t Like (Remix)” and “Cold”, which have been on permanent spin since the beginning of the summer, West shows he still possesses crazy lyrical creativity. These tracks combine nicely with his previously unreleased features such as “The One” and the aforementioned “To The World”. From lines about Kim Kardashian, Bar Refaeli being Israelian or rather Gisele being Brazilian, he’ll have the listener exclaiming “Holy crap” the whole way through.
After their rambunctious performance at Made In America, this album further cements Big Sean, 2 Chainz as some of the hottest rappers in the game. If anyone was sleeping on them, somehow, this album should definitely peel back some eyes. It was also very impressive to hear Kid Cudi going “Solo Dolo” on his track “Creepers”, which reminds me a lot of the type of music that made him a household name a few years back.
Overall, if you were looking for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Part II, this album may not be for you. However if you are interested in diversity and crazy collaborations you will never see anywhere else, then this album is definitely worth a listen. I’m excited to see where G.O.O.D. Music is heading and it is certainly nice to hear something different. It almost reminds me of a neo-noir movie. Classic mixed with freshness. Style combined with substance. Class sprinkled with swag. If you thought the current state of music was in trouble, Kanye West and G.O.O.D. Music are here to deliver the hotness and brighten up your outlook.