I’m not a fan of rap label compilations. There’s way too much going on and they really serve no purpose than as a marketing tool to advertise for the rappers on your label. However, because this was Yeezy and the G.O.O.D crew, I was willing to give it a shot and see if they could sell me on it. They couldn’t.
I have the same issue with Cruel Summer that I had with Watch The Throne, there’s no luster in it. It’s like these guys were on vacation and, I don’t know, I guess it rained one day so they were stuck in their expensive ass hotel and thought, “Hey, fuck it, let’s make an album to kill time.” Frankly, by the time the record was done I was exhausted with it–also, I don’t have to remind you of my feelings on luxury rap.
The album starts off with R. Kelly doing that thing he does, only this time it’s not sexual. Essentially a pale imitation of “Lift Off” from WTT, it wasn’t exactly the strongest of openings. (Especially with ‘Ye phoning it in.) Luckily enough, after this is the album’s strongest streak of songs with the infectious bop of “Clique”–which features Jay-Z, Big Sean and Yeezy bragging about his girlfriend’s sextape that doesn’t star him–to what was arguably the jam of the summer “Mercy” and the “church-in-the-ghetto meets a hip-hop dungeon”-like style of “New God Flow” (Now with Ghostface, being who he’s always been, the fucking best).
I wanna like songs like “The Morning”; it sounds good and the repetitiveness of the beat works in this kind of song, but it’s way too feature heavy for me to get into. Just as soon as I’m feeling a rapper’s verse, he’s gone. Also, Kid CuDi’s “verse” on this song is only slightly less lazy as the one he did for “All Of The Lights”. Also, as tempting as it is for me to want to like a song with Ma$e on it… I just can’t get with this “Higher” song, but we’ll always have Harlem World bruh. Honestly, the rest of the album is just a blur of features I can’t keep track of and mostly interchangeable beats. (Just thinking about it is tiring; the Kid CuDi one was good though.) Finally, the album ends with the remix to Chief Keef’s “Don’t Like” and I’m left wondering a few things, namely: does this change my feelings for the G.O.O.D crew, and how is it Cyphi got to only be on two songs with like a half a verse on both,that seems like a pretty raw deal.
Like Watch The Throne, I feel like Cruel Summer is a decent mixtape pretending to be an album. It’s fun and sounds great, but that doesn’t mean it’s no less phoned in. That being said, it’ll probably sell well and I’ll hear it at the clubs when I’m drunk enough to enjoy it more.