Cruel Summer was a album that was almost a decade in the making. Kanye West established G.O.O.D (Getting Out Our Dreams) Music back in 2004. Just like his big brother Hov, Ye wanted to have his own dynasty of legit MC's that he wanted to call La Famila. After almost 10 years of adding and dropping artists (so long GLC and good riddance Consequence), Ye finally has his dream team roster that is getting out their dreams. This year Kanye got the majority of his roster together to form the compilation album Cruel Summer. Just like any other Kanye project, this album was seen as an event and with Kanye's track record, the masses expected greatness. And with the roster that Kanye has, his main goal was to give you just that, and plus more...
With Clique, Big Sean lets it be known that nobody is fucking with the G.O.O.D roster. Pairing him with The Throne, Big Sean really held his own and showed why he is one of the best rappers in the game right now. The Hit-Boy produced track comes attached with Hov still rapping about that rich nigga life and Ye rapping about his swag and how him and his girlfriend are the UnAmerican Idols. Even through Big Sean killed it, I'm not gonna lie, but this track sounds like WTT leftover.
Mercy, rather you like it or not, the anthem of the summer. You couldn't help but like this song, especially Big Sean's opening lines "Drop it to the floor make that ass shake. Whoa! Make the ground move, that's a ass quake!" I'm not going to lie, the song lightweight grew on me since it dropped, I especially grew to appreciate 2 Chainz verse. However, my favorite verse on that track was Pusha T's verse. It was more of the appetizer for the next track..
Pusha really showed that hunger flow on New God Flow, which is one of the main highlights of the album. I've loved this song since they released it a few months back and I have always had it on constant repeat. Before I heard the album version my favorite verse on the song was Kanye's. He showed glimpses of his hunger on College Dropout. Especially when you heard the thunder clap because Ye was literally taking you to church.
Welcome to Sunday service if you hope to someday serve usHowever, on the album version, Ye went out and got Tony Starks himself Ghostface Killah. Ye used his backbeat to Starks "Mighty Healthy", and along with a interlude that gives you ghoosebumps, Ghostface's verse was the icing on the cake. I will go on to say that in my opinion New God Flow is one of the best rap records of the year.
We got green in our eyes, just follow my Erick Sermon
Did Moses not part the water with the cane?
Did strippers not make an arc when I made it rain?
Did Yeezy not get signed by Hov and Dame?
And ran to Jacob and made the new Jesus chains?
Right after Ghostface's finale verse, the 2nd Wu-Tang member Raekwon the Chief pops up on the following track The Morning. The Chief, along with a slow bass driving beat produced by Kanye, slows the pace down of the album and just lets the lyrics show their purpose. This was the song where Ye lets the G.O.O.D roster shine. Kinda disappointed that Common had a short verse, and was REALLY happy that 2 Chainz had a very tiny verse. The real person who really shined on this track was Cyhi the Prynce. You might have remembered him from his verse on So Appalled, and I really don't understand the hate on him. The dude can really rhyme and he really showed that he does have a good flow and got skills.
Theraflu or Way Too Cold, or Cold, or Cold.1 or whatever the fuck you want to call it is personally one of my favorite records of the year. It's one of those tracks you just want to bump on ignorant levels and just swag the fuck out. I'm serious, I can see people just fill out a job appreciation and the only thing they put for experience is "CAN A YOUNG NIGGA GET MONEY ANYMORE?!!?". Only thing I STILL hate about this song is how it is STILL credited to that little chipmunk nigga DJ Khaled. ALL that nigga did was say his name..which is all he truly does through out his career...
After the first half of the album the album kinda lightweight goes down hill for a little bit. The pot head song Higher featuring Pusha T, a hook driven by The Dream, and a surprisingly good verse by Mason Bertha, was kinda average. Even through the production was good there was something about it that I felt was light weight missing. The same can be said about Sin City which features Cyhi the Prynce and a spoken word poetry by Malik Yusef. Production wise it is amazing, but the song as a whole just doesn't connect well with me.
The One features Ye, Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Marsha Ambrosius, and I lightweight fuck with the joint. Even through I kinda wasn't feeling the hook from Marsha, the song is good for what it is. Hell, 2 Chainz kinda came correct with which actually surprised me again. The other 2 stand out tracks on this album to me is the Cudi solo Creepers and the John Legend and Teyana Taylor duet record Bliss.
for worse, the I Don't Like (Remix). I still fuck with this record quite heavily, but to put THIS record as the final track is quite puzzling. Felt more like a bonus track then a standard issued release for a G.O.O.D Music album. And as quickly as it began, the album just ends..quite abruptly actually. This was the downfall of the album that didn't sit well with me, it was too short, like way too short.
I mean 12 songs can be good if it's a solo album, but THIS is a compilation album, it needs at least needed 2 or 3 more tracks. I was let down that Mos Def and Q-Tip won't rapping on any of the records. I was also kinda disappointed that Common was only used on one song on this album and his verse was quite short. After 6 projects from Kanye, you would expect MORE from him because he'll gave you nothing more then GREATNESS on all the albums he was involved in.
Now don't get me wrong, this is album is NOT bad by ANY means. Production wise, it's not surprisingly that it is top notch. When it comes to Kanye West you can only expect top quality production from him, he IS a producer after all. Everybody on this album served their purpose, shit even 2 Chainz came correct. That's one thing I like about Kanye, he can make the wackest rapper on the planet sound lightweight decent on his albums, just ask Nicki and Ross. Other then that the album is above average for what is. This album is really more of a red carpet roll out for Pusha T, and Big Sean's solo albums due out some time this year or next year. Other then that, is the album good? yeah....is it G.O.O.D enough? Well only time will tell...
Busby's Review: 3.5/5