Kanye West isn’t one to sit still for long, and since he had some time before re-watching the throne with Jay-Z, realizing his multi-platform design collective, DONDA, and releasing a follow-up to the brilliant My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, he’s put together this big-budget mixtape under the rubric G.O.O.D. Music compilation.
While Cruel Summer boasts such A-listers as R. Kelly, The-Dream, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, and Jay-Z, it’s West who shines brightest whenever he grabs the mic—which doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should. The compilation starts strong enough, with R. Kelly offering an R&B alternative to Odd Future–style irreverence on “To the World,” Jay-Z dropping some serious heat on the bro-anthem “Clique” (pronounced “click,” rather than the French way), and the Yeezy feature, “Cold.” The centrepiece, however, is “New God Flow” a dynamic marriage of production and rhyme, where West’s fiery rhymes are nearly (but not quite) rivalled by a stealthy build-up into a classic-sounding Ghostface verse.
Aside from some decent hooks and occasionally inspired flow, the latter half isn’t nearly as worthwhile, which calls into question West’s curatorial skills—but then again, this is called G.O.O.D., not G.R.E.A.T., Music.
Playlist picks: “New God Flow,” “Cold,” “Clique”