ALBUM: Cruel Summer.
ARTIST: Kanye West.
RELEASE DATE: September 18, 2012.
West and crew unapologetically remain at the top of the game.
After a grueling summer wait, Cruel Summer, the first release from Kanye West’s Getting Out Our Dreams (G.O.O.D) Music label, is finally out Tuesday Sept. 18.
The album raises the bar for rap music with a plethora of singles and a star-studded collaboration of artists including John Legend, Jay-Z, Common and members of the Wu-Tang Clan. It flows more like a greatest hits album than a compilation of new songs.
Starting Cruel Summer off, R. Kelly and West collude on To The World, a feel good ode to freedom and carelessness. Kelly belts a catchy and hilarious homage to Dave Chappelle saying “The whole world is a couch, b***** I’m Rick James tonight,” while West pokes fun at partisan controversy claiming “Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax.”
Singles released over summer to hype the album then queue up next with the latest hit Clique, the summer anthem Mercy, the stylistic gospel track New God Flow and West’s only solo song Cold.
Former G.O.O.D. Music artist Kid Cudi also makes a return to the label in the track
Creepers. Cudi rips it in his signature sing/rap style, but his return feels out of place compared to the musicianship of the album’s other artists.
To conclude the album West remixes controversial Chicago rapper Chief Keef’s song I Don’t Like, adding to his laundry list of dislikes.
Cruel Summer is just more proof of the legacy West has left and continues to leave on the rap world. G.O.O.D. Music’s roster of West, Pusha T, Big Sean and 2 Chainz is an explosive formula that not only works for the label, but functions beyond the typical style of rap heard today.
With this latest attempt to catapult his fellow artists into the spotlight listeners will soon see that West and the G.O.O.D. Music label represent a gold standard of hip-hop and R&B music rarely seen in the genre.