Rap label dishes out G.O.O.D. album

“Cruel Summer,” which is available for download on iTunes now, is the first compilation album from G.O.O.D. Music. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“Cruel Summer,” which is available for download on iTunes now, is the first compilation album from G.O.O.D. Music. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hip-hop has recently had its fair share of groups flexing their guns via compilation albums, but as the season comes to an end, Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music record label looked to save the best for last with the release of its new collaborative album.

“Cruel Summer” has become a highly anticipated album this season among fans considering the huge names featured, including Common, Pusha T and Jay-Z.

The 12-track album is filled with heavy-hitting beats and plenty of witty verses to go around, but some of the previously leaked tracks seem to get in the way of the total package.

“To The Word” opens the album and fans will be happy to hear R. Kelly return to the spotlight as he carries the track with West.

Kelly sings about overcoming odds after the world turned against him as Kanye spits, “Pulled up in the Aventador / And the doors raise up like praise the Lord / Did the fashion show and a tour and a movie and a score.”

Hit-Boy, Mike Dean and West made splendid use of their production expertise to make catchy, grimy and memorable beats that compliment the album well.

Fans may be familiar with singles “Mercy” and “Clique,” as these two head nodders demonstrate the production quality well.

2 Chainz and Pusha T deliver massive lines as they flaunt the life of fame and money while Big Sean and Jay-Z back up their crew with a repetitive, yet catchy, hooks.

The best tracks on “Cruel Summer” are arguably “New God Flow” and “The Morning,” which are successful largely because of the subject matter.

Backed by an eerie piano accompaniment and chilling drums throughout the instrumental, Pusha T takes subliminal shots to other rappers as he barks the line “Step on they necks ‘til they can’t breathe / claim they five stars but sell you dreams. They say death multiplies by threes / line them all up and let’s just see.”

The G.O.O.D. Music crew squashed Illuminati allegations with ease in “The Morning.”

Kanye raps that his success came in the form of working from the bottom to the top as he chimes in, “Aw money, you sold your soul? Nah man, mad people was fronting / (Expletive), we made something from nothing.”

“Higher,” “Sin City” and “Creepers” unfortunately dissapoint in lyricism and quality. Kanye’s lack of oversight in the production of these tracks is a huge factor.

“Bliss” takes a small and relieving break from 16-bar verses and throws in John Legend and Teyana Taylor, who sing tremendously well in the love song.

As “I Don’t Like” brings the album home with a trap instrumental, it starts to feel refreshing, but slightly underwhelming.

Because some tracks were leaked, the album feels like opening a Christmas present while well aware of what’s inside, and it doesn’t help that no alterations were made in the final version.

The album is, however, worth an extended listen.

The smooth overall production quality and verses delivered from the G.O.O.D. Music affiliates made sure the album closed the summer with a bang.

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