The Beginning And End Of A 'Cruel Summer' / by Randy Ortiz

So let me get this out before anything... I'm a big fan of the music that Kanye West releases, obviously I'm not talking nor will I about his baby moments in the public eye. Now having said that, I don't care for this whole "God" look that certain Hip-Hop artists (Kanye) now give off and yeah I get where it's coming from but I just don't dig. If you're on top of the world you don't have to keep reminding everyone "Hey look where I am!", it just feels like you're trying to force perception of yourself on me. On to the music. This album has a good amount of guilty pleasures but mainly due to its sound and has nothing at all to do with what's being said which isn't much at least to me. Kanye has moments of brilliance but then there are times where it's ok and catchy but ultimately doesn't do much. I feel I need to be a bit more critical due to this not being a free compilation/mixtape and something they want money for. For his past 2 productions I've had to sit on the albums for a few and warm up to them which end up cementing once again that he's a great talent IMO. Not sure if that's going to happen this time around, I'm not digging this whole "God Flow" higher than thou stuff. Did I enjoy "Cruel Summer"? I sure did. Was it because it broke new ground or made me have an epiphany? Nope, it's just enjoyable Hip-Hop with guilty pleasures here and there. I think it might even be a little much asking folks to shell out cash for a welcoming party from your label. My favorites are To The World, Mercy.1, The Morning and Higher, everything else especially 'Don't Like.1' can go fly south for a loooong winter. It was enjoyable yes but I find myself wondering if it's worth a purchase or do I feel confident enough recommending it for purchase and I can't... stream (MOG, Spotify etc.) it. You can preview the album below courtesy of Universal Music Backstage Germany.