Cruel Summer has finally been released! Was all the hype true? Let’s find out.
GOOD Music Appearances:
Kanye West – 8
Pusha T – 5
Big Sean – 4
2 Chainz – 3
Teyana Taylor – 3
Cyhi the Prynce – 2
John Legend – 2
Kid Cudi – 2
Malik Yusef – 1
Common – 1
D’banj – 1
Mr Hudson – 0
Mos Def – 0
1. To the World (Kanye West and R. Kelly) [Teyana Taylor was also featured but not credited]
Beat: The songs starts off slow and then…synthesizers everywhere! Seriously, they couldn’t have had anymore and make it sound good. Oh, there’s some piano in there too. Anyways, R.Kelly is in charge of the vocals for the first half and Kanye then takes the other half (and Teyana the end). Although I don’t like Kelly, I think he did a good job and provided us with a hilarious line (The whole world is a couch, bitch I’m Rick James tonight), although he sang the overused line of “middle fingers to the sky”. Kanye does great as usual, here he features the “controversial” line of Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax, and ends the verse by saying R.Kelly and the God of Rap, shitting on you, holy crap.
2. Clique (Kanye West, Jay-Z and Big Sean)
Before I start this, I just wanna say that I have a problem with Big Sean, I think he’s corny as hell. Surprisingly to me, he does very well, except that he says on thing that makes me cringe: I’ve been up straight for nine days, I need a spa day…really though? Spa day? Come on son. Anyways, the hook is simple and is done by Big Sean, which I’m okay with this time. Second verse is by Jay-Z, who doesn’t really add very much to this, but, you know, it’s nice to have. The winner here is Kanye once again, he has the best lyrics and flow, and has the longest verse.
3. Mercy (Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz)
You’ve heard this one. In my opinion, not really the best choice for the lead single but hey, it’s not in my hands. Again, Big Sean delivers a cringe worthy verse as the opener. Pusha T is next and he does what he does best: cocaine references, girls, luxury. Usually I wouldn’t like this very much, but Pusha does it so well that I don’t care. His flow is impeccable once again along with being his lyrical self. To me, the beat change in the Kanye verse is the best thing about this song. Kanye raps about the usual but switches up the flow to go with the eurobeat soundtrack behind him. 2 Chainz is another person I have problems with, but does very well here.
4. New God Flow (Kanye West, Pusha T and Ghostface Killah)
I believe there’s a God above me, I’m just the God of everything else, that is what Pusha starts this track with, meaning that this track will be amazing. The hook is a loop of a Ghostface Killah vocal sample done well. Anyways, Pusha T pretty much dominates this track, taking the first two verses with him. Kanye jumps in for third, and as usual, has a bit of change in the beat. For those that miss the old Kanye, this will somewhat make you happy. He talks about murders in Chicago and other social problems, even talks a bit about being signed. Now, in the original version of this, there was Kanye shout outs saying Good Music!. In the album version though, that part is cut off and is actually replaced with a new Ghostface Killah verse. Ghost KILLS it. Like, damn, he owned it.
5. The Morning (Raekwon, Pusha T, Common, 2 Chainz, Cyhi the Prynce, Kid Cudi and D’banj) [Kanye West was featured but not credited]
Aka, the Illuminati song. When I first heard the hook, I thought it was a vocally modified sample, but it’s actually D’banj singing, and he does it very well. Raekwon from the legendary Wu-Tang starts it off, and just like Ghost, he kills it too. Personally my favorite lyric here is this: I say Ye with Two Chains on, we common, lets push. The second verse is Common and Pusha, which I don’t like (more on this later, even though they went in). Then 2 Chainz spits like 6 bars, which is funny because he still has to announce himself at the end of the hook. After that is the always underrated Cyhi, who holds his own against all the veterans (and 2 Chainz). There’s a bridge after that, which has D’banj in the background, Cudi singing, and New God Flow sample. Then Kanye jumps in at the end to finish off the track with lyrics from New God Flow.
6. Cold (Kanye West and DJ Khaled)
There is no necessity for Khaled to be here, no one needs him to be yelling on a track. Anyways, this sounds like something that would be on a mixtape, by that I mean that it’s “dirty” and aggressive. As the great Big Ghost said, “ignorant music must be played at ignorant levels.”
7. Higher (The-Dream, Pusha T, Mase and Cocaine 80s)
The sampled voice is a bit weird, but it works. The-Dream has his voiced autotuned and kinda sounds like a horny robot, in a good way (it’s your job to make sense of that, not mine). Pusha does his luxury raps. Then the surprise came in, Mase. It took me a lot of listens for his verse to grow on me. His lyrics are great, but it’s just that his voice just doesn’t go on this kind of beat. It doesn’t fit well. But again, after many listens, it grew on me. To finish it off, it’s Cocaine 80s. Who are they? No one knows, but we know they make awesome music (which you can download here). They finish it off well, and transition onto…
8. Sin City (John Legend, Travis Scott, Teyana Taylor, Cyhi the Prynce and Malik Yusef)
This song is all about the Sin City. How people want publicity and do all things for it. Malik Yusef’s spoken word poetry explains it. Also, Teyana Taylor sings from the perspective of the city itself. Cyhi and Travis do this track perfection. The beat has a lot of bass and loud, echoing claps.
9. The One (Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Marsha Ambrosius)
The softest and slowest song on this album (expect for the chorus, Kanye went crazy with the beat machine). It’s a lot of piano and singing, raps are slow. Kanye raps about his successes and just being happy. Big Sean…well he’s being himself. It’s another “I made it” verse, and he accomplished in making me laugh by saying: I’m a double X L nigga : magazine and condom size. Anyways, 2 Chainz kinda raps about the same things, expect that he somehow makes it sound better than Sean. The outro is by someone named James Fauntleroy, who closes it out well.
10. Creepers (Kid Cudi)
If I had one wish it’d be to have more wishes. Duh. Cudi has the only solo song on the entire album and is produced by Dan Black, yes the electronic artist. I have a feeling that this song wasn’t meant to be here, it’s too different from everything else. Duh.
11. Bliss (John Legend and Teyana Taylor)
This song is a ballad about love. Synthesizers everywhere but it’s almost like on John Legend’s Evolver, where it all works with the pop element.
12. Don’t Like (Kanye West, Chief Keef, Pusha T, Big Sean and Jadakiss)
This sounds so out of place. This track has been heard by everyone already so you should know what to expect. Everybody bragging, Kanye and Pusha doing it best. Even though the song was originally Keef’s, he is actually the worst thing on this song, even the album. But like before, this must be played at ignorant levels.
Highlights: New God Flow, The Morning, Cold, Higher, Sin City, Creepers, Bliss
All beats are great, most lyrics are great (MOST. see: Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Chief Keef). It’s a good thing that it’s only 12 tracks too, it shows variety and doesn’t overexpose itself, unlike collab albums that have like 18 tracks and most of it is filler. My complaints here are that Don’t Like should have been a bonus track. The album should have ended at Bliss, or if anything add another song. It’s okay though. Common…why did he say like just 7 lines? He should have been featured more, and where the hell were Mos Def and Mr Hudson? Mr Hudson especially fits for these types of beats. Cudi should have been here more, a little less Kanye. I know this was his idea and all, but he could have left more space for everyone else. But overall….
Buy it…is what I would usually say, but since all these people are rich, might as well stream it or something.