After dropping ye and acting as the executive producer on Pusha T’s Daytona, Kanye West has teamed up with Kid Cudi for their joint album Kids See Ghosts.
Kid Cudi and Kanye West have had a rocky relationship over the years. First, Cudi was Ye’s apprentice: Ye signed Cudi to G.O.O.D Music in 2008. But later after Kid Cudi left the label, their friendship ended.
In late 2016, Kid Cudi declared both Drake and Kanye for having “30 people write songs for them”, and continuing to insist that they’re “top 5”. It was a jab that Ye didn’t take lightly at first, but eventually reconciled with.
Now with the past behind them, their latest album, Kids See Ghosts, showcases how bizarre and mesmerising they can be together.
It’s an eerie and otherworldly listening experience. Ye and Cudi push their chemistry and artistry to the next level. Ye’s instrumentals are experimental and really set the mood and soundscape for this album. Cudi’s voice is a true instrument, as he delivers however he sees fit- rapping, singing, humming, chanting, you name it.
“4th Dimension” is the door to this sound they’ve created. With a recurring Louis Prima sample as part of the backdrop, Ye and Cudi are relentless on this opener.
Kids See Ghosts is haunting and dark. The instrumental plays like the soundtrack to a march through a ghost town. It’s brief, but Ye and Cudi are effective until the end. Cudi’s background humming hovers and floats, as he reflects on the “stars” he “left behind”.
Cudi raps through gritted teeth on this one; it’s one of many unique deliveries he flexes on here. “Feel the Love” is a standout moment too. Over piano chords and some strings, Cudi’s voice stirs us to “keep movin’ forward”. It’s this ability to take his personal struggles and make that makes Cudi appealing to listen to. He takes elements of his personal struggles and makes them feel like universal mantras.
This album’s conclusion is airy though. The old Kanye is seemingly “reborn”, reminding us how potent he can be as a voice for the unheard.
Together, Kanye West and Kid Cudi have managed to craft a close-knit sound for their joint-venture. It’s an experience that’s best enjoyed as a complete body of work from start to finish.