OK. First, I love hype. And if there was one album this year that had hype, it was Cruel Summer. With something like 5 singles released before the album, and millions of Kanye fans salivating over the next release by their God, hype and Cruel Summer go hand in hand. Naturally, I was very, very ready to see what would come next. Second off, “Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax” had to be one of the funniest, most accurate/ arrogant and pure Kanye lyrics of the year. No one but Kanye could call out a presidential hopeful, anger millions while also making millionss laugh all before minute three had hit on Cruel Summer. And third, and probably most importantly, if nothing else, Cruel Summer did one incredible thing well. It made a lot of mediocre rappers seem like they actually deserved to be associated with Yeezy for once. Big Sean is absolutely amazing on this album, with verses on “Mercy,” “Clique,” “The One,” and “I Don’t Like Remix” that all flowed well, made sense and were actually worth learning and singing along to whenever the radio songs came on. Pusha T and 2 Chainz also really threw down on the album and 2 Chainz’s “Mercy” verse IS one of the best verses of the year.
I know some people see this album as a mash up of radio singles and throw away songs with Kanye West’s name on it, but I see more. I see this as a way for Kanye to spread some of his undying knowledge to the less fortunate and to pass on some tips to the youngsters. I see this as the next great attempt of Kanye to try something new. It really must have been a daunting task, allowing a bunch of underappreciated and untested rappers to be on an album that is more or less a Kanye West release. But he did it, and I give him the utmost respect for taking this risk and actually producing an album that will be played more than that first time just to hear the singles. Because even tracks like “The One” and “Creeper” are decent and I might even go as far to say as memorable. And then obviously “Mercy,” “Clique” and “Theraflu” (my mistake “Cold”) are all brilliant singles, worthy of both the radio play they got and the constant replaying they also received. I will admit, I am a little biased to anything Kanye West but I honestly believe this album was not a mistake, in fact, I believe it was an interesting and worthy choice of a path for West and again, I look forward to the next thing West decides to do.