GENRE | COLOSSAL COLLABOS
VERDICT | YEEZY DOES IT
LABEL | DEF JAM
RELEASE | 9.18.12
When Kanye West infamously said last year during his epic Watch The Throne tour that he is flawed as a man but his music is perfect, only one conclusion could be drawn:
the cocky bastard is right.
When West isn’t serving up almost-sickening bouts of bravado, he ponders such intense MC existentialism that his tracks become almost impossible to decipher. But on Cruel Summer, West achieves a much-anticipated balance between the two,
while maintaining beats so sonic they’re deafening.
While lead singles “I Don’t Like” and “Mercy” are monstrous club-bangers, “Clique” achieves higher velocity and is just as lyrically demanding. West indulges muses old (John Legend) and new (Teyana Taylor) simultaneously on the soulful and smooth track, “Bliss.”
Homage is paid to hip-hop patriarchs Raekwon and Common as they both battle for greatness on “The One,” and West even lets Ghostface Killah out-boast him on “New God Flow” (chiming: “I had my Jesus piece since ’94—I don’t know what ya’ll talkin’ about”).
Summer is West’s forceful reminder of how on top of his game he is—and just how easy it is to forgive his imperfections.