Kanye West & Kid Cudi – KIDS SEE GHOSTS Album Review


Jake Yencik, Opinions Editor

Summer 2018 saw the release of one of the most anticipated albums of the year, the debut self-titled project from newly formed two piece rap supergroup, KIDS SEE GHOSTS.  The collective features Kid Cudi and Kanye West, two giants in the hip hop industry that have been greatly influencing and shaping the sound of modern rap music for the last 15 years.  Before the release, twitter saw Kanye using his typical pre-album controversy tactics to build up hype for his 2018 albums “ye” and “KIDS SEE GHOSTS.” This time, many wondered if Kanye had gone too far as he was showing surprising support for Donald Trump.  But regardless of whatever drama Kanye likes to stir up, this album added yet another significant and unique piece to his discography while bringing Kid Cudi back to the top of the rap community.

The opening track “Feel the Love” grabs the listener’s attention and pulls them in within a minute of the start.  The track opens with large, spacey synths accompanied by the emotional and reverberating line “I can still feel the love” sung loudly by Kid Cudi.  After this, we’re met with a feature from Pusha T who lays down a really solid rap verse. After this, Kanye takes the song for a surprise turn when his verse begins with loud chaotic yelling of adlib like noises that seem to be imitating gunshots.  Kanye’s vocals are accompanied by huge, popping snare drum sounds. The track “Fire” brings the same vibe of many of Kanye’s old songs with huge, stomping downbeats and showcases the duo’s rapping abilities and lyrical talent. The third track, “4th Dimension” is definitely my favorite track as well as one of the most interesting instrumentals Kanye has ever brought to the table.  It samples a 1936 Christmas song by Louis Prima called “What Will Santa Claus Say (When he Finds Everybody Swingin).” However, this unusual sample fits the track extremely well and showcases Kanye’s astounding ability to find great songs to sample and make them work very well with the other elements of his instrumentals and vocals. The rest of the 7 track album continues to deliver hard hitting beats, well thought-out lyrics, and a great dynamic between Kid Cudi and Kanye West on every track.

As far as criticism, there really isn’t a lot I can say about this record.  Usually a 7 track album feels short or incomplete, but this album works perfectly with 7 tracks and definitely could be described as “all killer, no filler.”  It feels like a very complete and conclusive album by the end of the final track, “Cudi Montage,” which contains a surprising sample of Kurt Cobain. However, Kid Cudi’s vocals on this album could have used more expression at some points.  That being said, there is still a great dynamic that exists between Cudi’s more laid-back and melancholy verses and Kanye’s loud and emotionally charged vocals. This album was especially a huge success for Kid Cudi because of his last album.  The 26 track, 91 minute rock album “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven” from 2015 was widely considered to be one of the worst albums of 2015 and by far the worst release ever from Kid Cudi. Many wondered if this would be the shameful end to his career but Kid Cudi did not disappoint and instead was able to redeem himself and prove that his ability for writing great, memorable tracks still exists.  Overall, I think this is one of the best releases of 2018. It shows the emotional side of Kanye West that hides behind his notoriously inflated ego, the much needed return of Kid Cudi, and amazing sounding production to tie it all together. I will definitely be looking forward to the next KIDS SEE GHOSTS release as well as both artists’ next solo projects.