It took a long while, but finally the world has its hands on the “Cruel Summer” release of Kanye West and his stable of artists on his G.O.O.D. Music label, including Big Sean and Pusha T.
Fans have been waiting for this for more than a year, ever since Kanye introduced his acts on a Texas stage. The waiting is now over, the music is out—and the reviews are…mixed.
In addition to the G.O.O.D. Music crew, West brought an exciting cast of guest characters along for this ride, including 2 Chainz, Kid Cudi, a surprise appearance by Ma$e, John Legend and Teyana Taylor.
While critics were not blown away by Kanye’s grand self-indulgence on a few of the tracks, most outlets were in agreement that the first few tracks are lean, mean and effective. Spin called in “consistently interesting” and “enjoyable,” though the cast of characters confuse Kanye’s brand without clearly defined roles.
The Associated Press said the record fails because it is a “disjointed assemblage of rhyme styles and perspectives with no overarching musical direction.”
The Los Angeles Time was much more impressed, calling the record “proof that West’s Chicago posse has cemented its place as one of the most formidable cliques in the world.”
Several of the sites said the problem was West’s crew, which didn’t use the opportunity to distinguish themselves.
“If Cruel Summer is meant to be an argument for the label’s other talent, it makes a weak case,” according to Pitchfork.
“The G.O.O.D. Music artists don’t shine bright enough,” says Billboard.
In the end, says HipHopDx, “G.O.O.D. Music’s first outing successfully showcases the collective’s talents, but it’s ultimately an underachieving and uneven effort.”