One week removed from the release of ye, the eighth solo studio album by Kanye West, the (sometimes) misunderstood genius made good on releasing the self-titled debut from Kids See Ghosts, a duo comprised of himself and longtime collaborator Kid Cudi. Sitting at a painfully short seven songs, the project is every bit as good as it should be; this is genuinely the reintroduction to both artists the world deserves.
Yeezy and Cudi have arguably gone through a lot over the past few years. While not entirely poster children for mental health ….
In the week that followed ye, I found myself asking questions that would daunt any Kanye superfan: has Kanye lost his genius? Is a bipolar disorder diagnosis the one hurdle he can't overcome? Will Kids See Ghosts be the death knell of Kanye's career, at least outside producing? Thankfully, Kids See Ghosts is an album to send your demons packing and put your worst fears about Kanye West 's artistic decline to bed. I may be focusing on my teenage hero Kanye a little too much, as kudos of course must go to Kid Cudi also, who as one half of KSG delivers his best full-length offering since his classic debut, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. For the most part in fact, the album's production is curated with Cudi in mind, a sonic bag of treats for those who vibe to the gloomy, celestial exploration of his early material as well as the rap rock stylings he has demonstrated since.
It should be no surprise how quickly critics harpooned Kanye West's eighth studio album ye, which has been out for a week now --ravenous to punish him for wearing the wrong hat last month, not to mention the clickbait potential of exiling one of music's mightiest forces, he was ripe for sacrifice. He always knew they would try to tear him down But the word here is 'try', because if you wander outside the blogosphere, there are millions of passionate fans celebrating the same subversive novelties that have critics brandishing their torches and pitchforks. Now it's going to be a blast watching them all scramble to reevaluate their agenda to 'cancel' him after he's delivered his collaboration with Kid Cudi, Kids See Ghosts, ransacking them with just the defibrillating charge of songwriting, production and catharsis they originally pined for in his solo release.
Kid Cudi has always felt like an unwilling protégé of Kanye West; for as much as his mentor values instant gratification (to the point that he'll bus out every influencer in the L.A. rap media space to a listening session for a project he literally only finished minutes prior), Cudi has honorably maintained a tunnel vision for the fringe, often to a fault. As impactful as his seminal work was, Cudi's output since 2010's Man on The Moon II: The Legend of Mr.
He just turned 41, and Kanye West still craves nothing more than to make a big mess, plunge into it headfirst, and take us with him. This impulse unites him with his dragon-energy brother in the White House, who similarly revels in just saying it out loud to see how it feels. It must be intoxicating to open your mouth and say whatever occurs to you, knowing you will endure mild censure at worst before reaping your rewards.
In the mid-’90s RZA, leader of the Wu-Tang Clan and one of Kanye West's biggest influences, produced five albums for Wu-Tang members by himself, an intense process where "I didn’t come outside, didn’t have too many girl relations, didn’t even enjoy the shit. I just stayed in the basement. Hours and hours and days and days. Turkey burgers and blunts".