Updated: Aug 28, 2020
THIS IS THE END OF KANYE SEASON -'JESUS IS KING' was reviewed back on my Twitter, follow this link to a page with all my previous reviews to find it - and check the list below in case my rating on the album has changed since.
Finally, the end of Kanye season is here. After going through all of Ye's discography, it has lead up to the collaborative project from Kanye West with Kid Cudi titled 'KIDS SEE GHOSTS'. This was part of the Wyoming projects - just like its predecessor (from only a week before) 'ye', so obviously this project was to be 7 tracks short - meaning I needed it to be interesting, quick to catch your attention and full of great songs. Well, we've been through his whole discography now, so it should come as no surprise that the production here is immense, and possibly his greatest produced album ever. It's a sample heavy project, full of rock inspired, occasionally electronic beats which tend to have eerie vibes to them to really capture the ghost aesthetic. I enjoyed both the artists contributions on this release, but I think Kanye stole the show for me. Cudi at times had thick vocals that made it hard for me to understand him, as well as falling into the simplistic category every now and then. For the most part though, just like Kanye, this album was full of honest, emotional and introspective lyrics with a poetic edge on them. As for Kanye himself, his confident delivery and typical smooth flow were on point for the entirety of this album. There are very limited features on this album, all pretty much those closest to both Kanye and Cudi who you'd expect to see and overall it's a good showing from those features, I'd say two from three perform really well and the other one isn't too bad (see who I'm on about in the track by track reviews below). Both of these rappers have been through ringer in recent years - as shown by the content on this project. This album talks on overcoming demons such as Cudi's rehabilitation for drug dependency, Kanye's opoid addiction as well as the stresses of fame and the way the media presents them. It's a very personal project from both of these rappers, and they really dive deep into this content giving it so much substance.
Feel The Love
This short projects opens up with one menacing electronic synth, followed by Kid Cudi chanting "I can still feel the love". Later on, Kanye comes in with gun sounds as the beat becomes more harsh, contrasting that during the negative times the pair still feel the love. Pusha T, as usual, comes in with a hard delivery means he slots in well and with simplistic, but great beat it's the perfect start to the project.
The second track is great, but not as good as the first one. Cudi talks on his battle with depression, drugs and overcoming them - with some pretty stuffy vocals that sound a bit meh. However, his vocals for the hook were better and a great outro to the track. Kanye uses some decent metaphors, "Through with mixed messages, through with the mail // Only a few in the field, little bit off for the real", to talk on his haters over this evil feeling production with a catchy drum pattern. A great track but still lower half of the album - shows just how good this album is.
This song is probably top three on the project. Firstly, Kanye comes in with some great punchlines and this cocky delivery as he talks on sex and accidentally trying anal...yep, "She said I'm in the wrong hole, I said I'm lost, uh-uh". Cudi then takes a more honest approach talking on his drug addiction and depression over this incredible beat may I say. The beat is eerie, with quick kicks and deep drums as well as a great sample - and is possibly my favourite beat of the project.
Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2)
A follow up to 'Ghost Town', of Kanye's previous project dropping only a week earlier titled 'ye' (READ REVIEW HERE). If you've read it, you'd know it's one of my favourite Kanye songs and has a lot to live up to. It's a great track, Ye's input was decent yet short while Cudi's vocals were amazing - not as good as Ty Dollar $ign's who as usual, performed amazingly. The production is outstanding: very rock inspired with a heavy guitar riff and heavy drums as it talks on being free from stress and criticism. My only issue with the track is the verse wasn't long enough, and we didn't get enough content from it to really push on from 'Ghost Town'.
Like 'Ghost Town' on 'ye' - this is the climax of this album. Reborn is easily my favourite on the tracklisting, with melancholy piano keys capturing the mood perfectly, it gives Cudi & Kanye a platform to talk on their past mistakes/problems, and talk on moving past them - coming out a different person (hence reborn). This honestly might be a top 10 Kanye verse for me, short but sweet as he talks on his recent troubles with hard hitting, honest lyrics, "I was off the meds, I was called insane // What a awesome thing, engulfed in shame // I want all the rain, I want all the pain". Kid Cudi also comes in with a very honest verse talking on his drug addiction and rehab - as well as dealing with the hook which he does brilliantly with his emotional vocals. This song is so emotional yet triumphant, and is the perfect track for these two artists to collaborate on given both their struggles in recent years.
Kids See Ghosts
The title track is the weakest in my opinion - but it's still a decent track - however compared to the other songs on here there's a big margin between this and my second least favourite. Firstly, the eerie, lowkey beat is fire and Cudi does his thing with some decent metaphors as well as Kanye using some great one liners and braggadocios bars such as "I like breakfast in bed, but I love breakfast and head" (not clever, though it made me laugh) - but, the hook is what lets this down. The feature (Yasiin Bey) just sounds lazy - which I get is used to create and eerie effect but it just comes off as awkward and hits the ear wrong. I like the content of the song which is all about the expectations of fame and the pressures from the media - and the song is decent but it's just that, decent, and nothing more.
Just like 'ye', 'KIDS SEE GHOSTS' finishes very strongly. This song samples Kurt Kobain's 'Burn The Rain' guitar riff and genuinely works really well for the pair to rap over, making it probably one of my favourite beats on the project. The track begins with a Kid Cudi verse, an emotional and poetic verse as he talks on the common theme of the album - overcoming his depression and demons. His vocals are a bit thick and musty, making it hard to understand what he's saying but this isn't a massive problem as he still sounds good. Kanye though, as usual this project it seems, steals the show with his verse, as he spits hard hitting facts with this great flow and passionate delivery, finishing it off with a bang, "All growin' up in environment // Where doin' crime the requirement // They send us off to prison for retirement // Hopefully Alice Johnson will inspire men", as he talks on the cycle of violence. It's a great ending to this great project - and I hope to hear a sequel for this album if this track is anything to go off.
To conclude, Kanye finished his 2018 off in style. This album is short, easily replayable and full of songs that are still in rotation today. Both artists turned up even if I think Kanye was the star of the show, and they left you wanting more from them. You'd struggle to think that a sequel would come with Kanye turning to a gospel rapper now, however you never know with this man. This concludes Kanye season, and I think it's about time to start another season for another rapper, keep posted to find out who's discography I'll move through next (hint: it's an old school act - made of more than one person).
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Fire, 4th Dimension, Reborn, Cudi Montage
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: Kids See Ghosts
OVERALL RATING: Solid 8.5/10