It was a Cruel Summer for everyone in the music industry; everyone who's not G.O.O.D., that is. With single upon single, from "I Don't Like" to the song formerly known as "Theraflu" (TM) formerly known as "Way Too Cold" to "Mercy" to "New God Flow," G.O.O.D. Music dominated the radiowaves. Then Yeezy unveiled "Clique," but by the time we came to grips with what had hit us, Cruel Summer dropped. It's simply astounding how Kanye West has become such a force in the music industry in only a matter of a few years. He's changing the game. It's virtually impossible, these days, to see a song with Kanye West on it that's not a meme: Chief Keef (no comment) rose to fame, DJ Khaled cosigned a track with only one artist on it (huh?,) a Bible verse was paraphrased that no one understood (that is, until Rap Genius transcribed the lyrics,) and then Kanye sampled the Nasfather, proclaiming himself the new god of hip-hop. Damn. Jay-Z has done well putting 'Ye on, for Watch the Throne still gets major play over a year later. But y'all don't need me to tell you how awesome Kanye West is: he already tells you enough.
Two weeks ago, "Clique" took the world by storm. As if Big Sean's Detroit didn't get fanboys hyped enough for the collaboration, Sean's "in-your-face" flow on yet another consistently Tweet-able verse and rude hook coupled with a big appearance from Hov was electric.
R. Kelly's "To The World" hook is eerily infectious. I promise, if you listen, it will be stuck in your head. For me, it's great to see him back, for this is the first time in a while I heard an R. Kelly song without it actually being Trey Songz singing. In hearing the beginning of "The Morning," one would have trouble imagining 2 Chainz' ad-libs over the beautiful violin-accompanied hook; however, the song is great. Raekwon kills it. Common kills it. Pusha kills it. Everyone goes in. Cocaine 80's and The-Dream make for some nice vocals on "Higher," and Yeezy plays Puff Daddy bringing Ma$e in on the track. My favorite part about this song is 2 Chainz saying "YEAAA" before each verse. I believe "Higher" is catered to a selective taste, but it is a good listen, nevertheless.
Listen to this album cover to cover and you'll barely be able to tell where "Higher" ends and "Sin City" begins. The vocals on this next track are wondrous, and alongside the airy synths bear a stark contrast to the hard-hitting instrumental and choppy verses, most notably from Cyhi. "The One" sports a charming hook and a reflective verse from Yeezy. "Creepers," a solo track from Cudder, is definitely more of the WZRD Cud than anything. Not sure how I feel about his musical transformation but parts of this song are redeeming. Then there's "Bliss," which is a refreshing R&B track from John Legend and Teyana Taylor. Though it feels like it's missing a verse from one of the G.O.O.D. MC's, it's definitely still enjoyable, to say the least.
I honestly think "I Don't Like" doesn't have a place on the album, so it makes sense that Yeezy put it at the end; however, if anything, I'd put it as a bonus track. That's not to say it's worth any extra money, though. Chances are you've heard it 2,398,473,294 times.
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"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."
~1 Thessalonians 5:11