West’s ‘cruel’ attempt

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By Sebastian Garcia

Every artist or group has at least one album that can be defined as its best. Usually, that album tears through the music industry annihilating any other effort, leaving consumers wondering if what they just heard was real.  

Jay-Z’s and Kanye West’s collaboration album, “Watch The Throne,” did just that in 2011. Singles off the album were in constant radio rotation, while it sold 436,000 copies the first week, alone.

West’s follow up collaboration with his G.O.O.D. Music crew consisting of Big Sean, Common, Kid Cudi, John Legend and Pusha T, fails to compare to the massive impact of “Watch The Throne.”

“Cruel Summer,” proves how critical the music industry can be. Selling 205,000 copies in its first week — 231,000 less than West’s previous effort —“Cruel Summer” leaves a trail of disappointment behind it.

Along with the G.O.O.D. Music crew, many guests including former Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, R-Kelly, 2 Chainz, The-Dream and Jadakiss make appearances on the album. At this point you’re probably wondering how all these artists with such different styles can mesh on just one album. Well the truth is, they can’t. About five of the 12 songs on the album are good, with the exception of hopeless lyrics such as, “I got my block behind me like I’m comin’ out the driveway” and “I don’t wait, I marinate.” 

These lyrics make you wonder what any of these rappers were thinking. The beats on most of the tracks actually work pretty well, with the exception of a sample featuring an eagle screeching throughout the song “Bliss.” It’s apparent that West tried to construct an album to rival “Watch The Throne,” with his star-studded guests. It just so happens that the guests didn’t complement each other the way they could have. 

 Overall, “Cruel Summer” is an OK, yet somewhat disappointing effort for West and his G.O.O.D. Music crew. The album contains explicit lyrics and themes not suitable for all listeners. Key tracks include “New God Flow.1” Feat. Ghostface Killah, Kanye West and Pusha-T, “Mercy.1” and “Clique,” which features a guest appearance by Jay-Z.