G.O.O.D. Music's Cruel Summer: ConcertTickets.com First Impressions
Note: This article contains some spoilers. Be warned.
Just as the final days of summer peel away into the fall, Cruel Summer, the oft-delayed G.O.O.D. Music collaborative album, finally leaked two nights ago.
The project has been deservedly hyped for many reasons, two of which are worth getting into: 1) the album is covered with Kanye West’s fingerprints, with instrumentals that deserve multiple listens and several hours of detailed conversational analysis, and 2) it stands as yet another moment in West’s career where he submits audible proof of why, above all the silly behavior, we should continue to put up with him.
With Cruel Summer, West enters a league currently inhabited solely by Rick Ross of Warner Brothers’ Maybach Music Group: two figuratively humongous hip-hop artists who’ve been given a stable of talent to lead on their own. West’s G.O.O.D. Music label features several recognizable names: Big Sean, Pusha T, John Legend, Common, and Kid Cudi (the only musician on the album with his own song) among several others.
Often perceived as an impatient, lonely originator of genius, West has defied his persona and collaborated with some heavy personalities. As a soloist, West is driving on his own freeway, both in terms of creative brilliance and egotistical inflammation. Cruel Summer represents a momentous moment for one of rap’s most popular figures as he tries to stake claim on his own property, much like his mentor Jay-Z did in the late 90’s with Roc-A-Fella. Of course, Jay makes an appearance on Cruel Summer in a sick verse on the track “Clique.”
Of Cruel Summers’ 12 neatly packed tracks, five were previously released as singles. Of those five, perhaps the summer of 2012’s unofficial anthem, “Mercy,”is included.
Cruel Summer’s sound takes a backseat to nobody. The production is typical new-age Kanye synthesizing, with each track seamlessly blending into the one before it. However, none of the beats are too elaborate or complex to the point where vocals are relegated to the background. Non-G.O.O.D. music members Raekwon, Jay-Z, and Ghostface Killah shine.
Despite some creative speed bumps and horrendous lyrics (spoiler alert: shout out to Ma$e’s unnecessary comeback!) Cruel Summer gives its audience a bird’s eye view of the extravagant world Kanye sees on a daily basis. It’s a project people have waited patiently for since its rumored release last year. Depending on how high your expectations were, it was worth the wait.