Kanye West has been on a roll the last few weeks with stellar releases from Pusha T (DAYTONA), his own music (ye), and now his collaborative effort with Kid Cudi, which hits a new peak. Kanye West & Kid Cudi face life introspectively with KIDS SEE GHOSTS, showing an aesthetic, creative high for Kanye's recent wave of production and a surprisingly powerful commentary on criticism and society.
What's first impactful about KIDS SEE GHOSTS is the production quality. Kanye West takes the production level of KIDS SEE GHOSTS to a whole other level. '4th Dimension' is one of the most impressive production moments on the record, sampling jazz legend Louis Prima's 'What Will Santa Claus Say' and turning a song about Santa Clause into an eerie backdrop to a pretty subject-intensive track. The beats range from aggressive to chill, though there's never quite a disconnect in message. The aggressively anthemic intro 'Feel The Love' sees Kanye making some wild gun noises as Cudi calmly repeats "I can still feel the love." While amusing at first, this actually plays a pretty big role in a theme about violence that comes up throughout the record.
The messages of each song on KIDS SEE GHOSTS are surprisingly succinct. Many tracks deal introspectively, such as the haunting 'Fire' with its eerie marching beat. Kid Cudi and Kanye rap about their failures and the people who constantly bring them up, and how they choose to ignore it as a way of moving forward. Moving forward is the subject of 'Reborn,' a more chill track where Kid Cudi discusses his struggle with drugs and alcohol abuse, his chorus assuring "Ain't no stress on me Lord, I'm movin' forward / Keep movin' forward, keep movin' forward," almost as if he's telling it to himself. 'Freeee,' the sequel to ye's 'Ghost Town,' builds off of the idea of incessant criticism as well, but focusses more on keeping grounded in that atmosphere than moving ahead. Title track 'Kids See Ghosts' takes a dark route as well, Mos Def ghastly chanting "Kids see ghosts sometimes" in his hook. Closing track 'Cudi Montage' is built off of a grimy riff from Kurt Cobain's posthumous Montage Of Heck release, as Kanye and Kid Cudi delve into the implications of gang mentality and violence, powerfully declaring: "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."
Kanye West & Kid Cudi face life introspectively with their KIDS SEE GHOSTS project, showing both incredibly creativity as well as impeccable production ability. A lot of reflection and understanding went into this record, and it paid off with brilliant colors.
Favorite Tracks: 4th Dimension, Feel The Love, Cudi Montage, Fire
Least Favorite Track: Reborn
Rating: 93 / 100
Stream or buy KIDS SEE GHOSTS on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: