After all these years former G.O.O.D. Music mates Kanye West and Kid Cudi team up. Prior to West’s Twitter streams earlier this year, I wouldn’t have dreamed of this collaboration. While Cudi and Kanye always sounded great together, a joint album seemed unlikely. I mean, Kid Cudi has been off West’s music label for more than five years. Following the release of his third studio album Indicud, Kid Cudi split with G.O.O.D. Music mutually. As seen during Kanye’s Yeezy Season 3 fashion show/album premiere, the two remain great friends. At heart Kid Cudi will always be a part of G.O.O.D. Music. However, he appears on the imprint as of this year. Under the name KIDS SEE GHOSTS, Cudi returns to Kanye’s side for one last hurrah. I assume there will not be another album from this fleeting duo. That is mostly due to the quality of KSG.
Going into this brief album, I had high hopes. Although Kid Cudi’s latest solo album marked a comeback of sorts, it underwhelmed me overall. Additionally, many of Cudi’s recent projects felt unfocused and a bit jarring. Kanye, on the other hand, delivered solid effort after solid effort leading up to this release. When pinned together, something special must arise, so I thought. Many times this year highly-anticipated albums let me down in a major way. Conversely, Kids See Ghosts is the first album to exceed my expectations. Kali Uchis’ Isolation is a fantastic record. Yet it is also her debut, so I didn’t know what to expect. Here Cudi and Kanye’s chemistry rivals that of Michael and Scottie; or Stockton and Malone; or LeBron and… a backboard! The sonic mood board West concocts is one of utter uniqueness. Elements of hip-hop, rock, grunge, electronic and R&B music amass beautiful cohesion.
To be honest, I’m not quite sure how they pulled this off. At seven tracks and just 24 minutes in length, Kanye’s concise formula works wonders on his third consecutive album release. Kids See Ghosts, put simply, is like nothing else. Ghastly cackles, ballistic screams, and well-timed hums complement these crystal-ball soundscapes. Cudi makes his presence known early on the album’s opener “Feel the Love”. His anthemic chorus injects energy into listeners’ ear drums in a mere matter of seconds. He is preparing you for a ride you won’t soon forget. It amazes me how much substance the duo stuffs into 24 minutes. 99% of the time, seven tracks isn’t nearly enough to make a complete album. Nevertheless, Kids See Ghosts took hold of my attention and refused to let go. Despite some lulls in rap delivery and hook longevity, imitators will flatter this short offering for years to come.