KIDS SEE GHOSTS’S “KIDS SEE GHOSTS” Album Review

Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and exactly a week after Kanye West released his eighth LP “ye” (which you can see my review of here), he released a collaborative project with long time friend Kid Cudi under the name KIDS SEE GHOSTS.  Yes, it’s in all caps, too.  I wanted to push this review out a couple days earlier than this, but time only permits so much, so let’s not get caught up in that.  It’s time to focus on the music!

When this album was announced, I found myself having some pretty strong hype for it.  I am a long time fan of both Kid Cudi and Kanye West, and I might even consider them on my top 20 best hip hop artists list, if not in the top 10.  Both are pivotal artists in their fields.  Kanye West has done so much to change the rap landscape since “The College Dropout”, and many would argue that the mainstream rap scene pretty much follows whatever he does.  Kid Cudi, on the other hand, is one of the forefathers of sing-rapping, which is at its peak of popularity by the time of me writing this.  While Drake may be more popular off of this style, Kid Cudi was definitely one of the first people to put it in the mainstream’s mind, almost like he planted a seed that grew into the large tree sing-rapping is today.

Kanye and Cudi have been collaborators for a long time.  I’m not certain if he still is now, but I know Cudi was one of the first people to be signed to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music label.  They’ve come together to make many great songs, including “Erase Me”, “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”, and “All Of The Lights” to name a few.  While the two did have a miniature falling out during the “Life of Pablo” Tour, the two have since come back on solid ground, and have now released a project together, so let’s see what these hip hop juggernauts have for us with “KIDS SEE GHOSTS”

Song Analyses:

#1: Feel The Love

This album starts off on a really good note, as I love the set-up of this song.  Pusha T, whose recent album “DAYTONA” might be one of my favorite albums of the year, gives a verse that is much like what he normally gives, but Kid Cudi and Kanye West’s parts around his verse give it meaning.  Pusha T’s verse basically represents the normal rapper, so Kid Cudi’s refrain “I can still feel the love” is the artist’s reaction to what people think of his views and verses.  Kanye, on the other hand, shouts loud gunshot sounds throughout the track, showing how some people only want to shoot them down.  I might be looking too deep into this, but the concept of this sets up this album pretty well.  And sure, I might not be a fan of some of the technical parts of this song (even though I get its purpose, I don’t like how Kanye’s only contribution to the track is to just be Desiigner), but its themes play into the emotions of the rest of the album.

#2: Fire

This song’s instrumentals feel like they would fit well in a Western movie, and I like that.  The lyrics themselves are good on this song, too, as the artists act like a double personality.  Kanye West talks confident in this song, proving that he is an unbreaking man with lines like “I done proved to myself, back on that rulin’ myself/I got new news to tell, act like you knew you done failed”.  Cudi plays the opposite role, as he portrays the more sheepish side of a popular artist with lines like “It’s so many days I prayed to God/All this pain, I couldn’t seem to find a way”.  Cudi does seem to come through in the end, with the outro having some great harmonization.  Not a bad song at all.

#3: 4th Dimension (ft. Louis Prima)

So far, this album seems to be an inside look of the minds of Cudi and Kanye, specifically at how their lives as musical artists affect their personalities, and this song seems to show a brasher side of themselves.  Kanye’s lyrics point to it being somewhat like a brag rap, but I find some of his lines bad on this, mainly this part; “Made me say, “Ungh, uh”/Like I’m mixing Master P and Rick Ross (uh, uh)/She seem to make me always feel like a boss (uh, uh)/She said I’m in the wrong hole, I said I’m lost (uh, uh)”.  Cudi’s verse is basically the same, but with less lines that make me wince.  The sample from Louis Prima in this sounds aesthetically good with the beat, but I don’t really understand how the lyrics match the theme.  I’ll give this song one thing, though; disregarding the lyrics, it does sound nice.

Also, a sidenote: how come Louis Prima is the only featured guest on here even though he is just a sample and there are actual featured guests on this project.  I’m guessing it’s a legal thing.

#4: Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)

Coming in as the fourth track is the sequel to “Ghost Town”, which is one of my favorite track off “ye”, so of course I was excited to see a sequel to it only one week later.  While the first song talked about wanting a better future, this one is an assertion of letting go, as the chorus “I feel freeee” will tell you.  Both Kanye and Cudi are known for having suffered depression before, so I think a song like this is beneficial for the artists and the listeners.  Not to mention, all of the artists on this track have amazing chemistry.  It frankly feels like they all did this on the spot, but it turned out really good.  I still do like the original better, but this is not a disappointing sequel.

#5: Reborn

Within the first few seconds of this track, I guarantee you will feel some “Man On The Moon” vibes.  This song dips into the darker sides of the artists’ minds than the previous songs, as this one discusses the stress being someone of their acclaim brings.  Kanye has so many perfect lines in this that I can’t mention them all.  Cudi’s verse is good, too, but the best part is the chorus.  The verses express their pains, but the chorus is more upbeat lyrically, as even through all their stresses, they refuse to give up and they “keep movin’ forward”.  Like I said, this sounds like a fresh cut from Cudi’s earlier work, and it might be one of my favorite tracks from the album.

#6: Kids See Ghosts

This song is “Kids See Ghosts” off the album “KIDS SEE GHOSTS” from the duo KIDS SEE GHOSTS.  Try and make sense of that.  But, on a serious note, this is the title track, and I think it does well saying what the phrase “kids see ghosts” actually means.  Kanye has a good flow on his verse, too, but that’s about all the positives I can give the song.  It isn’t like I hate it, it just does not stick to me as well as some of the tracks on this project do.  I had a hard time figuring out these lyrics, too.  From what I could tell, it was telling the troubles of being famous, but there are other songs that do this better on this album (like “Reborn”), so this song almost seems nonessential.  This song isn’t bad, it’s just not for me.

#7: Cudi Montage

Luckily, this album ends with a bang.  What is surprising about this track is that it is the only track that does not focus on Kanye, Cudi, and their mindsets.  Instead, it addresses the rampant violence in today’s society.  However, it doesn’t just blame it on the police, but talks about the consequences of what the violence does.  Kanye delivers what is probably one of the best verses of his career, with descriptive bars like “Everybody want world peace/’Til your niece get shot in the dome-piece/Then you go and buy your own piece/Hopin’ it’ll help you find your own peace” and “All growin’ up in environment/Where doin’ crime the requirement/They send us off to prison for retirement/Hopefully Alice Johnson will inspire men” to pristinely paint his points.  The vocals from Mr. Hudson in the chorus are also fantastic and almost inspiring.  This was definitely a great note to end the album on.

Summary:

Much like “ye”, this was an album I had to listen to a lot of times to gather my full opinion on it.  Unlike what Kanye does in the media, this album doesn’t just outright tell you what it’s trying to say.  It makes you dig deeper, and I like that about this album.  The production, just like on all the other 2018 G.O.O.D. Music albums this summer, is extraordinary, and I don’t think there’s one flaw about it.  Kid Cudi and Kanye West both deliver great performances, with some of their verses being the best of their careers, and the lyrics hit most of the time.  I have one big problem, though; the songs don’t stick with me as much as other songs by these artists do.  Comparing it to “ye”, there were many songs that I took from “ye” that I liked and listen to frequently, but with this project, I don’t see that as much.  It’s not like any of the songs were bad, nor is this album as a whole bad, it’s just that no song was so impressive that it makes me want to listen to it on repeat.  Again, that doesn’t make the album bad on any stance, but that’s just my view of this album.

Picking a most and least favorite song on this project was also a chore, because as I said above, none of the songs impressed me immensely.  I’d say the one song that did impress me a lot, though, was “Cudi Montage”.  The grimy guitar riff sampled from Kurt Cobain emphasizes the dark and well-exectued themes of the song.  My least favorite would have to be “4th Dimension”, as the lyrics and sample don’t really fit with one another, and Kanye spits his worst bars on the project on this song.

Overall, I would give this album a 7 out of 10.  Do you agree?

Thank you for reading my “KIDS SEE GHOSTS” review. If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews. Also, if you have a song or album you would like to see reviewed, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep listening to good music! I know I will.

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “KIDS SEE GHOSTS’S “KIDS SEE GHOSTS” Album Review

  1. Finally got around to giving this a listen, great review as always, love the end there i see we share the same idea, nothing stuck with me, love the production, but i just cant find a stand out track…

    Gosh Kanye is on a roll what a good summer for music for sure

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s been quite a run for GOOD Music. I plan on reviewing the last two projects the label is putting out two (the Nas album is out already, Teyana Taylor should be coming soon).

      Like

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