Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cruel Summer (2012) – G.O.O.D. Music Album [Release Date: 9.18.12]

Cruel Summer (2012) album cover
Cruel Summer (2012) — Kanye West's record label imprint: G.O.O.D. Music's compilation album drops Tuesday, September 18th, 2012. In keeping w/ tradition of rap group compilations of yesteryears (think: N.W.A., The Wu-Tang Clan, Def Squad, Ruff Ryders, etc.), this debut album features 22 artists in total. (Word though the grapevine is that Raekwon & Ghostface had the two best verses on the compilation).

"G.O.O.D Music isn't a label for one; a lot of people have the misconception that G.O.O.D Music is a label but really it's basically a family and like a production company" – Kanye West

"When Kanye West founded label G.O.O.D. Music in 2004, it was just him, Common, and John Legend – three guys who, despite a few obvious differences between them, shared enough ground to make sense as a team. But in the years since, Kanye has added the likes of Pusha T, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, The-Dream, CyHi the Prynce, and Kid Cudi, some of whom are viable creative presences, some of whom seem to be on the team for mere commercial potential.

But it wasn’t just the album’s blueprint that foreshadowed how underwhelming Cruel Summer could be. In the run-up to the album’s release, six of its songs came out either officially or unintentionally....for starters, the beats here are uniformly great. Kanye had a hand in producing nearly every instrumental on the album, but he also brought in guys like Drake producer Noah “40” Shebib and Warp Records-signed Glaswegian Hudson Mohawke to get to sonic properties that might otherwise have been unreachable.

Cruel Summer was always too big to fail entirely. Even if some of the voices here (Common, Jay, R. Kelly) are as much as a decade past their prime while some (2 Chainz, Big Sean) are probably here for commercial intentions only, too many great songs and albums have been made between them for Summer to be deprived of artistry as a whole. Couple that with the obviously enormous budget that was used to make this thing, and there are times (“Clique”, “New God Flow”, “Cold”) when the album connects somewhere on the level of grandeur it should. Even Pusha T manages to come out unscathed, spouting widescreen narratives and pop-culture references faster than you can say “rap game Tarantino.” — Consequence of Sound

Cruel Summer (2012) –  G.O.O.D. Music's compilation album tracklist:

01. “To The World” – Kanye West feat. R. Kelly & Teyana Taylor. Produced by Pop & Oak w/ Hudson Mohawke, Million $ Mano, Ken Lewis, Travi$ Scott & Anthony Kilhoffer.
02. “Clique” – Kanye West & Big Sean feat. Jay-Z & Cocaine 80s. Produced by Hit-Boy w/ Kanye West, Anthony Kilhoffer & Noah Goldstein.
03. “Mercy” – Kanye West, Big Sean & Pusha T feat. 2 Chainz. Produced by Lifted & Kanye West.
04. “New God Flow” – Kanye West & Pusha T feat. Ghostface Killah. Produced by Boogz, Tapez & Kanye West.
05. “The Morning” – Pusha T, Common, CyHi The Prynce, Kid Cudi & D’banj feat. Raekwon & 2 Chainz. Produced by IllMind & Kanye West w/ Jeff Bhasker & Travi$ Scott.
06. “Cold” – Kanye West feat. DJ Khaled & DJ Pharris. Produced by Hit-Boy.
07. “Higher” – Pusha T feat. The-Dream, Ma$e & Cocaine 80s. Produced by Hit-Boy. Co-produced by Kanye West & Mike Dean.
08. “Sin City” – John Legend, Teyana Taylor, CyHi The Prynce & Malik Yusef feat. Travi$ Scott. Produced by Tommy Brown & Travi$ Scott.
09. ”The One” – Kanye West & Big Sean feat. 2 Chainz, Marsha Ambrosius & Cocaine 80s. Produced by Kanye West w/ Hudson Mohawke, The Twilite Tone, Mannie Fresh & Lifted.
10. “Creepers” – Kid Cudi. Produced by Dan Black.
11. “Bliss” – John Legend & Teyana Taylor. Produced by Hudson Mohawke.
12. “Don’t Like (Remix)” – Pusha T, Kanye West & Big Sean feat. Chief Keef & Jadakiss. Prod. by Young Chop w/ Kanye West, The Twilite Tone & Noah Goldstein.

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