x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

GOOD Music: Cruel Summer

This hip-hop collective slightly disappoints only because there is no solid sense of a group dynamic.

GOOD Music Cruel Summer

GOOD Music/ Def Jam

****

GOOD Music is one of the more promising rap collectives of contemporary hip-hop, merging consciously intellectual self-reflection with conspicuous-consumption egoism and somehow managing to make it work.

This is an art heralded by its founder Kanye West, who takes a back seat on this album to let his protégés and musical cohorts shine on the collaborative debut Cruel Summer. The album's impressive roster features GOOD Music signees (Pusha T, Big Sean, Common, et al) as well as plenty of guest appearances from artists such as R Kelly, Chief Keef, Marsha Ambrosius and Jadakiss.

Kid Cudi brings his alternative trip-hop sound to the album on the colourful Creepers, whose frustratingly short length just begs for multiple replays.

Teyana Taylor's smooth voice finally gets the focus it deserves on the deliciously 1980s-style Bliss, a duet with John Legend. GOOD Music's debut collaborative offering slightly disappoints only because there is no solid sense of a group dynamic; the excessive guest features distract from the group's unity, making the record sound more like a mixtape than an actual album.