G.O.O.D. Music – Cruel Summer Album Review
Finally, one of the albums I’ve been anticipating all year is finally here. With a roster consisting of artists I thoroughly enjoy, I was interested to see what Yeezy and company could muster up. For the most part, I wasn’t disappointed. One of the things that did disappoint me though was the fact that with this much talent on one project, it should contain more than twelve tracks. Still keeping my fingers crossed on the hopes that there will be a deluxe version, but it doesn’t seem likely. The phrase “never judge a book by it’s cover” also comes into play here. Not because Kanye kept up his streak of odd album art, but because I was not very impressed by the thirty second snippets. In fact, I was extremely disappointed. The beauty of Kanye’s music is that you have to listen to a project from start to finish to truly soak it all in. It’s kind of like when you get your haircut. You look in the mirror during it and you’re like, “whoa, what’s he doing?!” Then when it’s all done you feel as if somebody shot some confidence boosters into you and you’re read to kill the weekend. Or maybe that’s just me? Anyways, a track by track review after the jump.
1. To the World – Kanye West (Feat. R. Kelly)
Such a feel good song to start the album. Vintage R. Kelly right here. The beat is uplifting, the words are inspiring, and the chorus is downright motivational. “I’m doing things my way, I’m burning shit down tonight.” The song is about conquering the uphill battle we call life, letting loose, and taking control. “Let me see you put your middle fingers up.” This is the song you put on full blast in your car after a night with your friends, before a night with your friends, or anytime you just want to say F the world, I’m doing me. Yeezy contributes a solid verse, and an A+ for finding the perfect fit in R. Kelly on this track. One of my favorite parts of the song though comes from Kell’s himself with the line, “The whole world is a couch, bitch I’m Rick James tonight.” Hilarious. Shout out to Dave Chappelle.
Funny how they wait until you’re gone just to miss you.
2. Clique – Kanye West & Big Sean (Feat. Jay-Z)
So you know how Big Sean always goes around saying “finally famous” on basically every song, mixtape, and album ever? Well when you find yourself collaborating with “The Throne” you’re not bullshitting. Message of the song? Plain and simple. “Ain’t nobody f**kin’ with my clique.” The progression of Big Sean and the confidence he shows to stand toe-to-toe with these two rap giants continues to grow. Hov turning in a high quality verse to rebound from a subpar verse on “3 Kings.” Kanye anchoring the song doesn’t disappoint either contributing the songs funniest line, “My girl a superstar all from a home movie.” Wait, Kim K was in a home movie? When?
3. Mercy – Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T & 2-Chainz
So we’ve had plenty of time to soak this one all in, right? I’m pretty sure Chainz verse on this was when I really started to give him a chance. Anybody that Kanye co-signs I give a chance to check out, and 2 Chainz is one of those artists that had to grow on me. Considering if you wanted a hot song in 2012, you had to go through him, it wasn’t that hard. I do really enjoy the song though, and is great to rap along with. You get the “hash tag rap” style of Big Sean, the “I need to get to the kitchen NOW” rap of Pusha T, the “braggadocious “style of Ye, and surprisingly my favorite verse of the song by 2 Chainz. Now, after all this time I’m still trying to figure out that Jamaican gibberish on the hook and before Kanye’s verse.
4. New God Flow – Pusha T & Kanye West
When I first heard Kanye perform this acapella at the BET awards I knew it was going to be great. There is no better Kanye, than a passionate one. These two together are pure gold ten times out of ten. Kanye’s verse on this is probably my favorite verse on the album though. “Hold up, I ain’t tryna stunt man. But the Yeezy’s jumped over the jumpman.” That is just pure swag. Favorite part of the song though? Yeezy’s chant at the end. G.O.O.D. MUSIC!
5. The Morning – Pusha T, Common, CyHi Da Prynce, Kid Cudi, D’Banj, Raekwon, 2 Chainz & Kanye West
Talk about a superstar cast huh? Everyone contributing a solid verse (even 2 Chainz three bar verse.) “Cruel Summer” was one of my most anticipated albums in a long time. Not just because I enjoy every artist on G.O.O.D. Music, but also because the production. This is one of those songs where the production stands out. I enjoy how it starts with a low key, reggae feel. But as soon as D’Banj finishes the hook, a beat similar to “Cold” kicks in with Raekwon rapping over it. My favorite part of the song is when Cudi comes in doing his best “Lion King” impression and the beat changes up leading way for Kanye. “G.O.O.D. would have been God, but I added more O’s.” This team just fits so well together.
6. Cold – Kanye West (Feat. DJ Khaled)
Still can’t skip this song. At 2:36 long, it’s like adding a turbo shot to your coffee. Just one of those songs that is short, gets your blood flowing, and your swag on. It also is now infamous for introducing us to the now very public relationship between him and Kimmy. I remember having this and “Mercy” on constant rotation when they first dropped. Still gets a pregame/party going any time you put it on though.
Lucky I ain’t have Jay drop him from the team.
7. Higher – Pusha T (Feat. The Dream & Ma$e)
A song that definitely sounds better with high quality speakers/headphones. It allows you to hear the quality in production, and how clean the bass hits. Being a huge fan of The Dream I was excited to see him make an appearance on the album. The surprise guest appearance of the whole album (even more so than R. Kelly’s appearance) has got to be Murda Ma$e himself. Still has that mono-tone, mid 90’s, vintage sound that we’re used to. This song definitely doesn’t stand out at first listen, but the more you soak it in, the better it gets. Worth listening all the way through as well, because the last 45 seconds or so sets up nicely for the next song.
8. Sin City – John Legend, Teyana Taylor, CyHi Da Prynce (Feat. Malik Yusef & Travis Scott)
The overall feel of this song is amazing. The 808’s (I think) at the beginning of this song set the tone right away. The star of the show, though? Malik Yusef. When the beat changes and Malik starts speaking I can’t help but think that it gives it a “Thriller” feel. The way his voice gets deeper, slower, and more terrifying is genius. Especially at the end of the song when his voice has gone completely Wolf Hailey. Great touch, especially for this time of the year. Not to be forgotten though, the often underrated CyHi delivers yet another solid verse. The song is deep, eerie, and speaks on a ton of negative, but it is a quality song. I must say, given that none of the artists featured on it were any of the major artists, it held it’s own and is up there as one of my favorites on the album.
9. The One – Kanye West, Big Sean, & 2 Chainz (Feat. Marsha Ambrosius)
Triumphant. First word that comes to mind when trying to describe this song. The chorus is extremely inspiring and fun to sing along with. I can definitely relate at some points in my life. When things get tough and you feel as if nobody understands. This song reminds us that we just have to convince ourselves to stand by it to the end, no matter what it may be. My only vice is 2 Chainz ignorance kind of doesn’t fit here. Tity Boi is my homie, but could have done without him on this track.
If you want it then bring it on.
10. Creepers – Kid Cudi
I understand Kid Cudi is the most unique artist on G.O.O.D. Music, but this song doesn’t seem to make much sense to me. Not that I don’t enjoy it, but it just doesn’t seem to really fit on this album. What would make more sense to me would be if it was a bridge into another song, but it doesn’t even seem to do that. Not to mention I’d also much rather have another posse cut track, or even another Common verse. Especially with the album only being twelve tracks long, one song featuring only one artist was enough in “Cold.” I still can’t skip it though. Vintage Cudder.
11. Bliss – John Legend & Teyana Taylor
John Legend kills it, per usual. I could have done without Teyana Taylor on this song. Would have much rather heard Common on this song with John Legend. I feel as if that would have been a great combination. I do understand Ye’s intentions in showing off his voices of the label, but I feel as if the Rap/R&B combo would have been much better. Probably my least favorite song on the album, and most likely the one that gets skipped later on.
12. I Don’t Like (Remix) – Chief Keef (Feat. Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, Jadakiss)
I’m actually really surprised that Kanye kept Chief Keef’s verse on this song. I would have just paid him and said, “Thanks buddy, but your services aren’t needed here.” I don’t even know if I have heard Chief Keef’s verse since the first time I heard the song. I actually make a point to skip through it on my phone, iPod, and computer. Regardless, can’t go a day without seeing a #ThatsThatShitIDontLike tweet on my timeline. Guess he made an impact somehow. All I know is as soon as I here Pusha T’s voice fade in to this song my mean mug comes on. This song still bangs, no matter how many times I’ve heard it.
Overall, a solid album. I give it a 8.5/10 simply because we got a taste, but still really disappointed on the length of the album. I did find that I wasn’t skipping even some of the older songs, because the album flows so smoothly all the way through. Now let’s just keep our fingers crossed for some more solo work from each other these artists in the near future.
What’d you think of the album? Feel free to leave a comment here.
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