1. Big Sean’s Escalation to Superstardom.
Either Big Sean has really stepped his bars up or his music has really grown on us. His latest mixtape, Detroit, featured all original material sounding very similar to his debut album as far as content and skill. We now know that it was definitely the latter. That’s cool, though. He raps with a lot more confidence now than he did on Finally Famous. Cruel Summer won’t do anything but boost Sean Don into the stratosphere. Rapping alongside Jay-Z doesn’t hurt either.
2. Common and Q-Tip Collaborations.
After reading their Complex interview I expected Q-Tip to be on the album. Whether it was producing a record or spitting a verse. Then the track list leaks and guess what? No Q-Tip. Damn. The rumors about him and Common making an album together have been circulating for quite some time now. You would think that they had some work already put together if the rumors were true. I guess they’re not; and oh yeah, there is only one Common verse on the entire album.
3. A Bundle of KiD CuDi Hooks.
CuDi seems like the would-be hook man of the group. Cudder isn’t one to try to go bar for bar with the rest of the group on posse cuts so you would think he would serve as a hook and bridge guy instead. CuDi has his own song on Cruel Summer and has a bridge reminiscent to his work on “All of the Lights” before Kanye’s verse on “The Morning” and that’s about it.
4. A Verdict on Kanye’s Recent Raps.
When we first heard “Cold” it was called “Theraflu” and we weren’t surprised. We were impressed but we weren’t surprised. Kanye was clearly on some cocky shit and he wasn’t pulling any punches when it came to his Hollywood peers. Then there was “Mercy.” Personally, I don’t know what the hell Kanye was doing on “Mercy.” If I had to guess I’d say he was dumbing us down in preparation for Tity Boy 2 Chainz. “New God Flow” leaks and it’s just as crazy as “Theraflu.” Then Kanye returns on the “Birthday Song” from 2 Chainz’s album and I’m just confused. Luckily for the stans, Yeezy glides all over Cruel Summer, upstaging just about anybody on a track with him.
5. A Dream collab from Kanye and Ma$e
I expect too much from music. That’s why I’m always disappointed. When I heard Ma$e was going to be on the album I thought Ma$e and Yeezy were going to bless us with one of those back and forth joints, a la Styles P and Jadakiss. We weren’t that fortunate. As a matter of fact, Kanye doesn’t even appear on the song featuring Betha. I didn’t think ‘Ye would pass on an opportunity to rap with one of his idols. Oh well. At least Ma$e spazzed.
6. 20 Tracks
I mean… No Limit wouldn’t have left us hanging with just 12 measly songs. They would have squeezed every nigga on their roster into all 30 songs. Am I wrong for thinking Cruel Summer is supposed to be a compilation album? Once again, if we go back to the Complex Magazine interview, the group talks as if they were working on so much material as a whole and then they give us an EP. I liked the variety and diversity of the album but with only 12 tracks those attributes don’t blend well. You can’t follow up Velvet Blazer Music with Chief Keef. It just doesn’t work that way.
7. 2 Much 2 Chainz
Since dude isn’t really in the group he shouldn’t appear more than Common or CuDi right? Well guess again. 2 Chainz pops up here and there and even delivers some pre-verse ad libs to give us that uneasy feeling about what we were going to hear next. After a few spins you get used to it. I’ve never gave Tity Boy 2 Chainz an honest chance and I must say he’s not that bad. I actually wish his verse on “The Morning” was longer. He was floating for a good 9 seconds.
8. Show and Prove: CyHi the Prince
Cruel Summer is probably everybody’s first CyHi album (or first CyHi anything for that matter.) We just said he sucked without really giving him a fair chance. By “we” I mean y’all. I don’t really recall dissing dude’s raps. I actually like the Valentine’s Day, May, April line he had on “So Appalled.” I never gave any of his tapes a listen because I just wasn’t interested and I can’t take a nigga who wore thigh high boots seriously. Cruel Summer is basically CyHi’s make or break. I’m sure he knew that so it is expected of him to bring it.
9. Pusha T to Shine.
Has Push not been on fire? The power is in his hair. If he cuts those Xzibit braids off he’ll become Malice. Not that that’s a bad thing, I’m just saying. Pusha T’s braids are the only rappers on the G.O.O.D roster that can go line for line with or exceed Yeezy’s shit talking. It’s hard to say who had the better verse on “New God Flow.” We just know it wasn’t Ghostface.
10. Styles to Clash.
Not in a bad way. I’ve always admired Kanye’s creativity. Imagine Common and 2 Chainz on a joint or a John Legend and 2 Chainz with no one else to bridge them together. Q-Tip and 2 Chainz. It sounds challenging but it could have been done. These records are nonexistent to our knowledge but damn that would have been interesting.
And where the hell was Charlie Wilson?