Music reviews:the G.O.O.D Music Wyoming Projects

Technews Writer
Mon Aug 27, 2018

"Daytona" - Pusha T

After over a decade of working in "Clipse" and a smattering of solo LPs, Pusha T finally delivers the fully-realized masterpiece album that the industry and fans knew he had in him the whole time. Riding on the back of Kanye’s production - highlighted from sampling on "Come Back Baby" and "If You Know You Know" - Pusha T’s excellent lyricism and flow are given a place to shine, only ever faltering with a few misogynistic bars opening "Hard Piano." Granted, this lyrical content hasn’t stretched out much from rapping about rap or dealing for Nikes and Mercedes, but he’s easily the best and most professionally developed performer doing it right now. With only minor lulls on "Hard Piano" and "Infared," "Daytona" is a remarkably compact and dynamic album that does absolutely everything it could do in its 21 minute runtime. - 9/10

 

 "Ye" - Kanye West

When an album is just over 20 minutes long, songs don’t have the luxury of being unfocused or forgettable. "Ye" did not get this memo. The opening track and closing duo of "Ghost Town" and "Violent Crimes" are beautiful and come in excellently on the recurring themes of family and mental illness, but they are marred by the four-song run of unremarkable songs in between. These songs are not bad - mid-tier Kanye bops in their own right - but their style and mood just doesn’t fit. It’s hard to view "Ye" as any serious take on bipolar disorder or the media with such awful and cringe-inducing Kanye West one-liners on "Yikes" and "All Mine." Disjointed approaches and internal conflicts have worked well on previous Kanye albums, especially 2016’s "Pablo," but somehow this mix just doesn’t work. Despite making four other great albums in the same timeframe, maybe Kanye West isn’t made to condense to 20 minutes. As the hype settles, I have a hard time giving it much above a six. - 6/10

 

"Kids See Ghosts" - Kanye West and Kid Cudi as “Kids See Ghosts”

"Kids See Ghosts" takes the best parts of "Ye" and trims away the gross and the excess. It expands on the new sounds of 2018-Cudi and 070 Shake, who were already featured in the highpoints of the previous album. Cudi’s voice, meant to be viewed more so as an instrument than technically-proficient singing, comes through spectacularly on "Fire" and "Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2)." As the title suggests, the latter expands on the feelings of total freedom, detachment, and borderline-escapism from original "Ghost Town." Especially with the strong Kanye verses on tracks "KSG" and "Cudi Montage," it’s hard not to see this album as almost a fully-realized version of what Kanye was going for just a week prior. However, it is not nearly as jumbled or plagued by forgettable songs. Positives given, the general vibe of the album and Kid Cudi’s constant humming - while stunning in execution - can make the album sleepy at points. "Kids See Ghosts" meets all of the creators’ goals and nails the intended feel, but it will take some getting used to or a fair number of relistens before it really delivers in full. - 8/10

 

 

"NASIR" - Nas

If popular science is to be believed, the human body totally replaces itself once every seven years. Following this, the Nas behind "NASIR" is, literally, not the same Nas from 1994’s "Illmatic." It shows. The album isn’t without its highlights though; conscious takes from both Kanya and Nas on "Cops Shot the Kid" and the 7.5 minute choral-infused "Everything" are refreshing. The sampling and production, as with all five of the Wyoming projects, are immaculate on Kanye’s part. Notably, the ultra-recognizable sample from the 2012 single "Mercy" is heard again on "White Label" for a nice callback. Nas giving his two cents on relationships in the 21st Century, if not wrong, only comes across as out-of-touch and awkward from somebody 20 years after their debut. Maybe I’m just a mere youth hating on the previous generation, but "NASIR" comes across as a solid project, but never passes above "pretty decent." It hits all the expected beats, does what it needs to, but can’t be said to excel. - 7/10

 

"K.T.S.E" - Teyana Taylor

The only G.O.O.D Music solo album of the summer from a female artist, "K.T.S.E" by Teyana Taylor provides a solid R&B album with a sturdy backbone of "old Kanye" beats and feels. "K.T.S.E" works a lot on the romantic themes and relationship problems of "Ye" - sans the mental health aspect or corny Kanye lines. Further in contrast, it is remarkably focused and cohesive in its execution. The only eyebrow-raising tracks are "3way" and "WTP," which invoke "I’m In It or For Free?" - "Interlude" levels of provocativeness and sexuality. Though far from detrimental, this is not a project for puritanical tastes. "K.T.S.E" is exactly what it’s advertised as; it doesn’t come through with much more, but what it does do is airtight. Taylor’s voice is remarkable, and the production does everything possible to highlight and accent it. - 7.5/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appears in
2018 - Fall - Issue 1
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