Review: ‘Cruel Summer’ will sell well, but disappoint

Anne Buie

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

G.O.O.D Music has long promised a collaborative effort from the troupe of musicians, rappers and singers that West has assembled since the labels incarnation in 2004.

Tuesday, the record label started by music producer, rapper and entertainer Kanye West released the hyped up project “Cruel Summer” so the public could hear the final product.

The product, however, excluding the tracks released through West’s signature G.O.O.D. Friday series — a song composed of new material is released via his website — fails to live up to the highly placed expectations on the release.

The expectation for lyrical excess was that it was bound to surpass last summer’s release “Watch The Throne” project by fellow Rocafella label-mate Jay-Z and be an album packed with memorable punch lines and catchy hooks.

However, West comes off conflicted.

After West’s display of genius on his last solo effort, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” gets mixed with other duds distributed through his label since, like Big Sean’s “Finally Famous: The Album” and 2 Chainz’s “Based On A T.R.U. Story,” West seems to create a hybrid of theses styles – clever, but ignorant and ingenious, but juvenile – he ultimately fails miserably in the process.

The album starts off with the laughable West and fellow Chicago native R. Kelly collaboration “To The World” It is a merely half a replica of West’s 2010 “Dark Fantasy” and 2011’s “H.A.M.” with Jay-Z.

R. Kelly gets too much show time on the song and West’s verse is ultimately forgettable, referencing possibly the worst song of 2012, “Hold Me Back” by Rick Ross, along the way.

The album’s intended excess and sense of juvenile, cypher-style rap hit a stride of solid songs. The only problem with this slew of quality material, is that all but two of the six songs were previously released as singles for purchase earlier in the summer.

The listener deserves more effort from this long delayed project other than an album consisting of only six unheard tracks.

The label has over 20 signees — at least one person would have brought this imbalance of new product to the forefront.

“Cruel Summer” is ultimately a project that comes up short to the highly lauded and well deserved anticipation leading up to its release. “Cruel” also marks the first misstep in West’s musical dynasty.

The album will no doubt sell remarkably well, but only because of the names on the album’s credits. Lets hope for a solid Kanye solo album later in the year.

Rating: Two out of four stars


Story: WILL GREENE, Intern A&E Reporter