With June 2018 now over, it appears to be the end of Yeezy season. First announced alongside West’s now-expected return to Twitter, his controversial promo cycle went about covering hot topics such as Trump and slavery among others. Eventually it was revealed Kanye would be producing a total of five seven-track projects: Pusha T’s Daytona, Nas’ Nasir, Teyana Taylor’s KTSE, his eighth solo album Ye, and an all-new collaborative project with Kid Cudi- KIDS SEE GHOSTS. As we look back on June’s musical output, here we take a look at the Wyoming series in depth, reviewing and ranking the efforts of Kanye and co.
5. Nas – Nasir
Highlights: Everything (ft The Dream & Kanye West)
Low point: Not for Radio (ft Puff Daddy & 070 Shake)
My eyebrows were first raised when an MC of Nas’ magnitude agreed to be something of a mere cog within Kanye’s all-encompassing assault on the industry. And the end product didn’t return my eyebrow to its natural place, with Nasir being perhaps the most-forgettable Nas project in his discography. The project battles between gritty minimalism and polished productional flair, in which Nas’ lyricism and delivery is simply fogged in a haze of Kanye-hysteria.
It’s challenging to get a grasp on Nasir as a project, and perhaps more crucially, in evaluating Nas’ place in modern-day hip-hop.
4. Kanye West – Ye
Highlights: Ghost Town,
Low point: I Thought About Killing You
Ye is a difficult project to consume and appreciate as a sole entity, when looking at everything behind the album’s completion and promotion. This generation has already lost two trailblazing figures of their respective fields in Avicii and Chester Bennington, and after listening and absorbing Ye, with all its connotations, it’s impossible not to wonder what Ye might be the start of. Full review here.
3. Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.
Highlight: Rose In Harlem
Low point: 3Way
The second Teyana Taylor album has been a long-awaited, much-anticipated project, one that’s been chopped, changed and scrapped on more than one occasion. But the finished article was worth the wait.
Sexy, smooth and dripping with silky R&B, Kanye’s punchy production compliments the sultry vocal performances draped across the entirety of the project. The moving heartfelt Never Would Have Made It, and album opener No Manners beam out as highlights within the project, with an unmistakable power and conviction attached throughout.
2. Pusha T – Daytona
Highlight: If You Know You Know, Come Back Baby
Perhaps the best to take advantage of the short-but-sweet, seven-track element of the Wyoming series, Daytona is living breathing proof of Pusha T being one of the most talented MCs in the game right now.
There’s no need for frills or niceties, Daytona is a project packaged with direction, and purpose at the forefront. With Kanye of course playing an integral part to the album with some standout production from the series, it gives Push more room to flex his jaw-dropping lyricism and wordplay, crossed with that trademark venomous delivery.
1. KIDS SEE GHOSTS – KIDS SEE GHOSTS
Highlight: Freeee (ft Ty Dolla $ign), Reborn
Low point: Kids See Ghosts (ft Yasiin Bey)
Whilst collaborating on a catalogue of occasions in the past, Kanye and Cudi have had their ups and downs, the highs and their lows, some great songs, and some bad. On KIDS SEE GHOSTS, the pair come together in a elegant fusion of minds, as if all past collaborations have come to this.
Journeying through hip-hop, R&B, rock, psychedelic, and an array of outsider inspirations, KIDS SEE GHOSTS sees CudYe face up, confront and battle their demons, as a duo and as an entity, in the most public and unapologetic way. The results are explosive, and among their best work in years.