Surgical Summer

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Some argue true Hip-Hop has been pushed aside by Sound-Cloud rappers and fake controversies. But in the past month, Kanye West’s record label G.O.O.D. Music has taken over the industry, with each weekly release letting them flex their muscles a bit more. Each album is seven songs and I love the short album format; it allows much more replay-ability and listeners can digest the album much quicker and not feel like they need to skip songs.

Kanye West has been hogging the spotlight recently. Kanye on social media is like seeing a panda at the zoo. Most of the time he keeps quiet, but once he coughs everyone follows his every move. Ye caught our attention earlier this year when he tweeted a list of album release dates for him, a collab with Kid Cudi, Pusha T, Nas and Teyana Taylor.  Fast forward three releases – the hype is real. Now, we’re waiting for his next move.

The summer kicked off with Pusha T’s Daytona, a seven song album produced entirely by Kanye. Pusha has been around for years but this summer he became a household name after his diss at Drake. Listen, I love Drake, your neighbor loves Drake, sorority girls love Drake – the guy seems untouchable. But when Pusha released his Drake diss ‘The Story of Adidon,’ it was such a refreshing song because it revealed details of Drake’s personal life that have been previously hidden from fans.

Drake is Hip-Hop’s very own Taylor Swift – every comment and movement perfectly calculated to preserve his image. He has been a success in attaching himself to whatever is most culturally relevant and so far, it hasn’t  hurt him. That’s why this diss was a huge upset. This may have been Drake’s best kept secret – assuming it’s true – but 16 days and counting with no response from Drake is a little telling.

Pusha’s critical success definitely raised the bar for the next release: Ye. In typical Kanye fashion, the album cover art was a photo of some mountains he literally took on the way to the the Jackson Hole listening party – iconic.

Kanye seems to be to creating a flowing dialogue that focuses on his coping with bipolar disorder He doesn’t let it hold him back, but instead embraces and shows its strength. It was a welcoming narrative seeing someone embrace his personal identity that for so many years would’ve been questioned or ostracized. Regardless of the recent controversies,  Ye has shown nothing but appreciation to his fans.

Next up is the collab between Kanye and Kid Cudi entitled Kids See Ghosts. At this point, the releases have been on time and people were expecting another Kanye classically produced album. Both artists left their egos at the door and delivered a clean and well-crafted  project. The instrumentation is fire, their vocal delivery is on point, the mixing is solid, their lyrics fit the vibe of the songs, the sample choices are excellent – it was a really enjoyable listen all around.

Overall G.O.O.D Music has been 3/3 on the albums so far and this week Nas will drop his Kanye produced album June 16th and the following week Teyana Taylor will do the same. It has been a breath of fresh air seeing Kanye and G.O.O.D. music consistently dropping very solid projects within a week of each other. The bar has been set and the seven song decision for all of these albums will hopefully  lead to new trends in the album releasing process. I’ve listened to each of the three albums 20 plus times already not just because I think they’re good (they are) but the sub-30 minute time limit allows me to do so. Each release has had its own unique style and we should definitely be excited for what’s to come next.

It looks like it’s going to be a G.O.O.D summer.


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