Best songs: To The World, Clique, Mercy, Cold, The One
First things first, for Kanye fans looking for another Kanye album, this isn’t it. It certainly does have that “Kanye sound” all over it or more properly the sound Kanye’s developed with a handful of in-house talent, but it is a compilation album meant to showcase Kanye’s label G.O.O.D Music. The most fairest way to judge a compilation album is by comparing it to other compilation albums such as Maybach Music’s Self Made series and Young Money’s We Are Young Money. Now that you’ve probably laughed out loud at this comparison, it is still fair, even though it’s like comparing Picasso to your offspring’s finger painting (Sorry it’s not that good). When we look at from comparative perspective, this is a great complation album and likely the best one put out by a rap label ever.
1. To The World (Kanye West & R. Kelly)
Kanye seems to be heavily channeling Jay-Z from Rocafella’s compilation The Dynasty: Roc La Familia (who remembers that?) here, he even proclaims himself the “God of Rap”. R. Kelly comes off so amazingly over-the-top here I totally forget that he made wee-wee on a minor.
Best line: R. Kelly and the God of Rap, shitting on you, holy crap.
2. Clique (Kanye West, Jay-Z & Big Sean)
It’s not as big nor as good as Monster but Kanye’s verse is one of his best and he even manages to kick big brother’s ass *ahem Jay-Z* who sounds aloof on yet another guest appearance.
Best line: My girl a superstar all off a home movie.
3. Mercy (Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz)
You’ve heard this a million times, but this is still a great party starter and the bass…oh my goodness.
4. New God Flow (Kanye West, Pusha T & Ghostface Killah)
Do yourself a favor and be pleasantly surprised that Ghostface shows up. This is probably the closest he (and us) will ever get to that Supreme Clientele sound.
5. The Morning (Raekwon, Pusha T, Common, 2 Chainz, CyHi Da Prynce, Kid Cudi & D’Banj)
This is like a variation of Mercy except without Kanye and not nearly as good. Also what’s with 2 Chainz 3 bar verse?!?!
6. Cold (DJ Khaled)
Theraflu became Way Too Cold which now has become Cold. No surprises here but Kanye’s lyrically at his best taking shots at Kris Humphty Dumpty and declaring his love for Kim Kakes.
7. Higher (The-Dream, Pusha T & Ma$e)
You have to be really high to enjoy this song otherwise you are likely just going to skip it. M-A-$-E randomly shows up here to tell Loon he’s not Muslim and that he’s about his bacon.
8. Sin City (John Legend, Travi$ Scott, Teyana Taylor, CyHi Da Prynce & Malik Yusef)
Malik Yusef who long time Yeezy fans will remembered delivered one hell of a sermon on Kanye’s first album The College Dropout shows up here, but it feels like it’s more for nostalgic purposes rather than to add anything to the song. Travi$ Scott who has shown signs of early promise, seems to miss his opportunity to steal the spotlight.
9. The One (Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz & Marsha Ambrosius)
Kanye delivers another great verse, Big Sean and 2 Chainz not so much. Thank you Kanye for getting Marsha Ambrosius to sing about busting guns.
10. Creepers (Kid Cudi)
Again you either have to be really high to enjoy this or driving across country with some friends (or both).
11. Bliss (John Legend & Teyana Taylor)
This sounds like a song my mom and dad would slow dance to.
12. Don’t Like. (Kanye West, Chief Keef, Pusha T, Big Sean & Jadakiss)
This was one of the first leaks from the project four months ago and when I first heard it I was impressed. Kanye had figured out how to bring the ever ubiquitous trap sound into his world. He also helped a 16 year old from his hometown of Chicago, secure a million dollar record deal. That’s the shit I do like.
At the end of the day what was the point of this album? To give people great music? To showcase G.O.O.D. Music’s bench? While we do get some great music, those moments come primarily from Kanye, R. Kelly, Ghostface, 2 Chainz and Raekwon. Nowhere did any of Kanye’s artists really step up to the plate like they should have (which was telling the moment you hear Mercy‘s beat switch up for Kanye and not say for Big Sean?). Instead of Yeezy using this as something to hold his fans over for a few months while he puts the finishing touches on whatever masterpiece he’s cooking up, he should have used this as a moment to let his artists outshine him rather than play supporting casts – though it’s likely that’s all their talent level wouldn’t allow them to – I know cruel right?