My 10 Favorite Songs of 2019 So Far (4/21-9/26)

With 2019 coming to an end soon, it is important to highlight some of the great songs to come out this year. With the first list of the year, we saw 2 Chainz, Kevin Abstract, and SAINt JHN take the top spots, however, since then we’ve seen a lot of great releases from artists as they continue to impress me over the year. Here is my list of favorite releases from 4/21 to 9/26! (As usual, there is a limit of one song per artist)

10. I Was On The Block – YG ft. Valee and Boogie

“I Was On The Block” is by far one of YG’s most intriguing songs in his catalog. This song begins my top ten list because of its use of one of my favorite flows to emerge in recent years. The “Valee Flow” is a flow used by many rappers such as Smokepurpp, Lil Pump, Nicki Minaj, and even Tyler, The Creator. While Valee isn’t a major name yet, his flow is easily influential and YG’s and Boogie’s use of the iconic style is one of my most favorite highlights of the year.

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9. Proud Of Me – Lil Keed ft. Young Thug

Explaining the appeal of Lil Keed is fairly difficult as he doesn’t add much to modern music that hasn’t already been done already. But, what Lil Keed does do quite well is make attractive and infectious songs such as “Nameless” and “Proud Of Me”. Young Thug’s feature in this song is definitely the best part as his voice compliments the song in every way imaginable and even ends up becomes more likable than Lil Keed on this track. While Lil Keed has some things to work on, Young Thug once again proves that he’s one of the hardest and greatest working rappers in today’s scene.

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8. Baguettes in the Face – Mustard ft. NAV, Playboi Carti, and A Boogie Wit da Hoodie

As I’ve said in the past, I love NAV but he is simply one of the non-ironically funniest artists in the industry. But, where NAV lacks in seriousness, he makes up for in catchy choruses and verses. Mustard is a genius when it comes to selecting features for his song because of this song and “ON GOD” which both came from his newest release, Perfect Ten. “Baguettes in the Face” combines the chorus power of NAV, the style of Playboi Carti, and the flow of A Boogie Wit da Hoodie. Together these four created one of the best hits that this year has to offer.

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7. Jollof Rice – Bas ft. EARTHGANG

Ever since I heard Bas on “Night Job” back in 2015, I’ve been a fan of some of his songs. While he has some great songs, I tend to prefer his songs with J. Cole, however, Bas surprised me this year with the release of his song “Jollof Rice”. This song features WowGr8 from EARTHGANG whose presence brings the song to a new level. While it is unfortunate that Olu from EARTHGANG wasn’t on the song, I am thankful that at least WowGr8 provided some great verses to this highly addictive song. I really am impressed with Bas because of this song and I hope his EP, Spilled Milk 1 sees a sequel in the near future.

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6. I THINK – Tyler, The Creator

IGOR is without a doubt one of the best albums of the year but picking just one song from it to represent the album is very tough. I decided to go with “I THINK” because of its masterful production and message. I honestly really enjoyed IGOR and I hope that it receives its much-deserved recognition at the end of the year from critics and listeners alike.



EARTHGANG is perhaps the best duo of the 2010s and “UP” is the best piece of evidence I can give to this claim. “UP” combines Olu’s powerful vocals with WowGr8’s top-notch delivery to create a beautiful masterpiece. EARTHGANG has had a good amount of hits throughout the years but “UP” is by far their best one yet as it combines the best abilities of both rappers. I am really fascinated with their ability to produce terrific songs that never cease to become too repetitive.


4. Find Our Way – Being As An Ocean

Finally, Being As An Ocean released their newest album PROXY: An A.N.I.M.O. Story which contains some wonderful tracks to be heard. One of these songs is the single, “Find Our Way”. This song is definitely the best song to come from the band in years and is possibly their finest song ever made. I was thoroughly impressed with the post-hardcore band this year and cannot wait to see what’s next for the group.


3. On My Own – Jaden ft. Kid Cudi

Before I start, I just want to say that I love Jaden Smith, however, I love Kid Cudi more. Now, with that in mind, it is pertinent to say that “On My Own” is one of the strongest songs to ever come from Jaden and that is because Kid Cudi lends his amiable voice to the already appealing song. I adore these two for their own reasons, but, combined they made a memorable song that I will never forget. I really hope these two work together more often because their synergy is perfect together.

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2. Dangerous – ScHoolboy Q ft. Kid Cudi

ScHoolboy Q’s latest album, CrasH Talk looked very promising based off the singles but wasn’t able to surpass previously released albums of his, especially the Blank Face LP. Regardless, CrasH Talk did supply us with some great songs such as “Numb Numb Juice”, “Drunk”, and my favorite “Dangerous”. While the song is only two and a half minutes long it makes each second count as ScHoolboy Q delivers a remarkable verse while Kid Cudi performs a grim chorus. This song by far has some of the most impactful and perilous lyrics I’ve ever heard from a rapper in this decade. ScHoolboy Q has serious potential to create fascinating and hypnotic songs and “Dangerous” is a glorious example of this.

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BROCKHAMPTON is an unstoppable collective that seemingly never loses steam nor fail to adapt to changing times. Five albums in and they are still going strong especially with the slew of singles from their fifth album, GINGER. One of these singles to the album is the song “NO HALO” which has every member contributing vocally. The song is a beautiful piece of art that excellently showcases the imperfections that humans inevitably have. Deb Never even lends her voice to the boyband to bring the song to it’s fullest potential. I think “NO HALO” is a great way to begin an album about that covers the past, the future, and every mistake made along the way.

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The Man on the Moon

2009 saw the rise of one of the most noteworthy artists going into the next decade. Scott Mescudi released his debut album Man On The Moon: The End Of Day on September 15, 2009, after working on it for two years. The album was received well and had decent sales, but to some this album was an answer to their calls for help. Kid Cudi is notably someone who speaks out about mental health in his music and with young teens and adults starting to be open with their problems in the 2000s, Kid Cudi was their savior. This record is relatable, fun, and deep as it features Cudi discussing his childhood, mental health, and overall wellbeing over a 58-minute album. Being under the wing of Kanye West, Scott Mescudi was given the tools to voice his message to the world. While MOTM: TEOD is certainly a staple of modern hip-hop but what makes it so acclaimed and respected 10 years later?

Cudi creates this first act titled The End of Day as an introductory dream sequence in which he can do, say, and think whatever he wishes knowing there will be no consequences for his actions. This section of the album features Cudi introducing himself to the world as a troubled man who has flaws just like everyone else in the world. While he wasn’t a huge celebrity at this point, he paints himself as just an average man who’s voice can make an impact on society. “Soundtrack 2 My Life” and “In My Dreams” show us that Cudi is full of emotions especially love, sadness, and hope. With these three emotions in tow, Cudi uses them to his advantage when detailing his life and how he copes with the issues that life throws at him. After these tracks, we are greeted to the transitional track, “Simple As…” which ends with Common ushering the listeners into the Rise of the Night Terrors section.

The Rise of the Night Terrors act has Cudi exploring his weaknesses and how his mistakes have shaped him into the man he is today. On “Solo Dolo”, Cudi questions why he can never win in the world even when he does everything properly in life. The song ends with Cudi realizing that he has never once taken his own advice and continues to create problems for himself without even realizing it. This prompts the next song, “Heart Of A Lion” to serve as the first internal fight that Cudi has with himself. While he claims to have the heart of a lion, he never fully embraces it because his mind is in a constant battle with itself. The repetitive “no’s” and “yeah’s” that make up the chorus serve as this battle that he is consistently struggling with internally. After this struggle is highlighted and shown, Cudi sets out to create his perfect plans for the future on “My World”. Cudi describes what he would do if he had full control of his dreams and actions where he inevitably hopes to own the world and run it in his image.

After Cudi’s plans are revealed, we are once again reminded that he may never actually achieve these goals due to his internal struggles pressing on each and every day. In order to deal with his mind, Cudi turns to drugs, notably marijuana so that he may ease his mind in order to enact his dreams in the real world. Act III is labeled Taking a Trip as that’s exactly what Cudi does in order to suppress his negative thoughts. “Day ‘N’ Nite” is perhaps the best example in this act where we get to see a calm and reasonably happy form of Scott Mescudi. Turning to drugs has given him the strength and courage to face the world confidently. “Sky Might Fall” is where we see this new incarnation of Cudi dealing with the end of the world with full confidence and no worries at all. Cudi has received a boost of determination when it comes to dealing with cataclysmic events in his life and mind. “Enter Galactic” once again reminds the listener that Kid Cudi has become reliant on drugs in order to solve his problems as we venture into the fourth act, Stuck.

Stuck shows Cudi at his peak upon drug use and how he has become fueled with energy to take over the world. “Alive” shows this surge of energy and confidence well as he compares himself to a werewolf when he’s on a high. This comparison makes sense as both Cudi and a werewolf are a raging monster at night. After a song full of strength and excitement, Cudi introduces us to “Cudi Zone”. “Cudi Zone” is an upbeat song where he continues to ride his wave of confidence and energy. This energy that Cudi exerts come to full fruition when he, Kanye West, and Common team up for “Make Her Say”. This song features Lady Gaga as the three men surf on the beat to showcase how much fun they have when they’re free to do what they want. But, after their fun and shenanigans, Cudi once again continues his search for peace and happiness on “Pursuit Of Happiness”. The song “Pursuit Of Happiness” sets out to accomplish exactly what its name implies. Cudi searches for happiness everywhere but ends up finding out the hard truth that not everything that shines is truly gold. Cudi understands the lowlight that plagues his career, life, and future. But, what he knows is that he will eventually find peace within himself and be able to appreciate his life and all that he has.

With this new revelation, the album enters its final Act titled A New Beginning. The first song after his new enlightenment is “Hyyerr”. With newfound knowledge and self-purpose Cudi tackles drug use with a better mentality. Instead of using drugs as a crutch, he decides to use them to better his creativity. Cudi closes out the album with “Up Up & Away” which serves as a conclusion to the Man On The Moon: The End Of Day story. Scott Mescudi has been through a lot since the album’s beginning and has fallen into many holes that he was forced to dig himself out of, however, in the end, he came out on top. Kid Cudi confronted his demons, found a new purpose, and discovered a new way to live life. In 15 songs Cudi managed to accomplish what many strive to do in their whole lifetime. However, this story is far from over as his demons and problems eventually return in the second part of the story, Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager. Scott Mescudi’s life is full of ups and downs but at the end of the day, he always strives to live a better tomorrow for his friends, family, and most importantly himself.

I Was Wrong About Kids See Ghosts

Kids See Ghosts came out on June 8th, 2018 and my opinion on it has bothered me ever since. When this album was first played during the live stream I wasn’t a fan of the sound and style and immediately dismissed the album as something I wouldn’t enjoy. That night I stayed up for many hours with the album on repeat, especially the song “Reborn”. When I wrote my article I took the approach that the album was a project made by friends for the populous to enjoy as an experience rather than a traditional album. But, after numerous relistens, I came to the conclusion that I was wrong on three occasions.

My first fault was labeling the album as purely an experience when in reality, Kids See Ghosts stands as an album but also as an experience. Kid Cudi and Kanye West made this album to celebrate their years of friendship and wanted to share this musical masterpiece with us, the fans. By doing so, they invoked the true power of friendship in their work and created a way in which the album can be taken as an experience, an experience of true friendship. This album is full of emotions that the two men share throughout each song. Songs like “Freeee” detail being free of your demons while Reborn showcases becoming someone new, free of demons and sins of the past. These two songs flow perfectly together as do all of the songs on this album. Emotions take full control when it comes to lyricism and it should be known that both Kanye West and Kid Cudi put their all into their words and delivery.

My next fault was saying that “Freeee (Ghost Town Pt.2)” should’ve been left off the album because of the “Ghost Town” name. After multiple listens, this song has become one of my favorite songs on the album and potentially of 2018. The whole idea of losing your demons and moving on is a strong message that I’m sure I and many others could relate to. I thoroughly enjoy this song and have learned to ignore the “Ghost Town” title because I still believe it’s better off without it.

My final mistake was on my 2018 Best Albums List when I gave Jay Rock’s Redemption the number one slot on my list. I gave Kids See Ghosts the number three spot while Dance Gavin Dance took second place. I firmly believe that after listening to these three albums many times, Kids See Ghosts is my album of the year. Jay Rock did a great job on Redemption but I just do not see myself listening to this album as often as I do Kids See Ghosts. If I were to amend the list, Kids See Ghosts is my number one spot with Dance Gavin Dance taking second still, and Jay Rock in third. I must give it to Kanye West and Kid Cudi for not only being my two favorite artists of all time but also making one of my favorite albums of all time and especially of 2018.

I intend to use my experience with Kids See Ghosts as an opportunity to learn from my mistakes. Never again will I write something off because I didn’t enjoy it at first but rather give it time and give it a fair retry. Kids See Ghosts has taught me a lot about feelings and humanity and I, in turn, wish to keep these lessons close as I move forward through life.

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Gorgeous: The Complications of Tenacity

How simple is it to convey messages about hate, racism, proving oneself, and success? The answer here: is not simple at all, unless you’re a genius. Kanye West conveyed these messages, broke social barriers, and created a memorable beat all in one song. “Gorgeous” from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of Kanye’s greatest songs to date.

The Intro/Kanye

At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of “Gorgeous” due to the distortion effect added onto Kanye West’s voice, however, after focusing on the lyrics, sample, and chorus I have come to appreciate this song as my third favorite Kanye West song of all time. The distortion effect gives a special layer of emotion to Kanye’s voice as it matches the sample from Enoch Lights and the Glittering Guitars song “You Showed Me” which samples the Turtles song of the same name. With the guitar sample and effect in full, Kanye is able to dig deep into this song, especially when he recruits Kid Cudi for the venomous chorus. Kanye starts his verse by highlighting the racial injustice and blatant discriminative actions that plague the country. Kanye understands these problems but he takes it upon himself to warn others of the corrupt system and how they’re all a part of it whether they want to or not.

Kanye Pt.2

In this section, Kanye points out the necessity of hip-hop for teens as they need role models to follow similar to a religious practice. Kanye West has often proclaimed himself to be a god throughout his career and this verse seemingly shows that he wouldn’t mind leading the new generation as their God, going so far as to compare himself to civil rights leader Malcolm X when he says “Malcolm West had the whole nation standing at attention.” However, Kanye goes on to claim that being a role model isn’t the full extent of his goals and that he wants to be the greatest rapper that there can be. Kanye will stop at nothing to be the best but there are always going to be forces against him every step of the way.

Kanye Pt.3

In his final verse of the song, Kanye decides to talk about how he is determined to be the successive icon that he truly wants to become even if it has its problems. He even shows this by stating how his problems won’t leave him, referencing a Beatles track in the line “I was looking at my resume feeling real fresh today, they rewrite history, I don’t believe in yesterday.” This is Kanye stating how no matter how far he comes, history can be rewritten and it can all be taken away from him. He continues this sentiment with the now iconic line “What’s a black Beatle anyway, a fucking roach? I guess that’s why they got me sitting in fucking Coach.” This is Kanye continuing his Beatle reference from the previous line, and showing how even as a musician who’s accomplished as many musical feats as the Beatles, he will never be shown the same amount of respect, and that’s why he’s seated in Coach, behind First-Class. Kanye knows he’s back on the rise at this time in 2010 and doesn’t plan on stopping soon. Kanye seeks a lot in “Gorgeous” and whether it’s fame, success, or worship he is always set on achieving his goals. Kanye ends this verse by reaffirming his tenacity of becoming the best rapper in the world.


The last verse in Gorgeous is a guest verse from legendary Staten Island rapper Raekwon. At face value, one might mistake Raekwon’s appearance on this politically charged track to be redundant to the themes in the first three verses, but as a whole, it actually adds value to and perspective to verse three, as well to the themes of the album as a whole. Kanye spends his time on Gorgeous addressing America’s twisted views on African Americans and how it’s affected him personally. Raekwon uses his verse to paint a different picture, a black man who has risen above the racial injustice and become an icon himself. Raekwon starts off with “I done copped Timbs, lived in lenses, kid, Armani suits, fresh fruits Bally boots and Benzes.” Right away we can tell that Raekwon is somebody who’s successful. He lives a life of designer clothing and luxury cars, he also references his time in the spotlight, being followed by paparazzi and the media with the “lived in lenses” line. He would then go on to rap about Louis bags, and red Jaguars, to truly show the extent to which he has succeeded in his life. The tone of this guest feature changes and circles back to the themes addressed before when Raekwon calls back to his own time at the bottom of the pyramid with the line “Throwing dice for decimals the older head, bolder head, would train a soldier head, make sure he in the right field, not a soldier dead.” grimey, right? This is Raekwon making callbacks to where he would shoot dice for small amounts of money, and how the elders in his neighborhood would “train” the youth to know the ins and outs of the streets because a mistake could get them killed. Raekwon closes out his feature with this: “Keep grinding, keep shining, to every young man, this is a plan, learn from others like your brothers, Rae and Kanye.” This is a beautiful message to send the listener off with, a message from two prolific cultural leaders that if they keep at their passions, they will rise above the injustice in America and be okay.

Kanye West attacks the idea of racism, racial profiling, and racial inequality while bringing in his own experiences into the light. With Kid Cudi giving a ghostly chorus about being afraid to lose and a feature from Raekwon, Kanye West once again brought a wonderful trio together for this masterpiece. The song itself is a great piece of social commentary and gives those who don’t have a voice a way to be heard. While Kanye West isn’t a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or a Malcolm X, he still knows where the problems are and isn’t afraid to point them out to the world on “Gorgeous”.


Depression Vs. Music

Depression is more common than you might think, it affects over 16.1 million Americans and continues to become a daily factor in life. In life depression can be hard to handle, coming from someone who has it himself. It can eat at you and tear you down, depression is relentless. Sometimes medicine, therapy, and other treatments simply don’t work and at that point, it usually seems hopeless. There is, however, a silver lining in life: music. Music is an art form that can be interpreted in an infinite amount of ways. These interpretations can create an endless string of insightful and intuitive thoughts. Now more than ever, depression and other mental health issues are becoming a known problem in the world, especially in America. With a bigger focus on these disorders, artists have taken it upon themselves to put these feelings into words and more importantly into music. With a growing rate of depression in the world comes a growing rate of musicians who attempt to combat depression by presenting their interpretation of their thoughts and feelings.

More recently, however, artists have come to abuse this message for personal gain. The main artist on my list is Drake. Drake is known for being a “soft” and “vulnerable” guy who just wants to succeed, yet is he really worthy of being an icon for mental health? It is a known fact that humans have and show a variety of emotions on a daily basis, however, is Drake frequently depressed and upset about things? While we may never truly know this answer, it’s easy to agree that Drake is not that icon. Drake has even gone against those who suffer from depression themselves in the past especially Kid Cudi in 2017.

In 2017, Drake released “Two Birds, One Stone” which was a diss to Meek Mill, Pusha T, and most notably Kid Cudi. At this time, Kid Cudi was going through personal issues and had been in rehabilitation. Kid Cudi was very vulnerable during this time, yet Drake still decided to take the shot at him regardless. I firmly believe everyone in rap music can be criticized and dissed, especially when it’s beneficial for both parties involved, except this, wasn’t beneficial for Kid Cudi in any way, shape, or form. Calling someone out while they are actively seeking help is the exact opposite of beneficial. This shot by Drake only further shows why he shouldn’t be an icon. By dissing someone who is in a depressive and dark stage of their life you’ve not only brought negative attention and remarks to the already hurt person, but you’re also making their treatment harder to get through. Nobody in this world wants to be called out for doing the right thing, especially when they are taking care of their own psyche. By supporting Drake and his actions, we as a society are taking two steps back.

With suicide becoming a rising statistic in the world, it is up to us to stop it. It is up to the people of the world to do their best to support someone who is going through tough times. Lending a hand to a fallen friend is what ultimately brings people together. Unification in 2018 is essential. Far too often we hear about more and more suicide cases each year such as Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain most recently. This constant growth is what we as a society need to talk and be concerned about. Per year, roughly one million people will commit suicide. We need a positive icon to combat this statistic. While each person has their own opinion on who should be the face of mental health one thing is for sure: Drake is simply not that icon.

Kids See Ghosts Review

As the Cruel Summer continues, I decided to turn this week’s planned 3×3 Monday into yet another Kanye West-related album review. Next Monday should be the return to 3×3 Monday’s as I have a lot of different genres and songs to share. Here’s my track by track review of the new Kid Cudi and Kanye West album titled Kids See Ghosts.

Feel the Love

Kids See Ghosts starts off explosively with the opening song “Feel the Love”. “Feel the Love” begins with a clever and enjoyable introduction from Pusha-T which then evolves into Kanye West seemingly channeling his inner Desiigner combined with the “scoopty woop” vibes from “Lift Yourself” to create a unique and loud chorus to challenge Kid Cudi’s simple and melodic chorus. This song is without a doubt a hell of a way to introduce one of the most anticipated albums of all time. “Feel the Love” seems like the best way to set the youthful and personal tone that this album will take throughout its seven-song course. But the hype doesn’t stop here as it’s simply building up to another great song which is “Fire”.


If “Feel the Love” was a precursor to the hype levels of Kids See Ghosts, “Fire” subsequently is ultimately the payoff of this buildup. The song features both Kid Cudi and Kanye West reverting to their roots to deliver some serious and suave rhymes accompanied by a simple yet fun beat. Since both started off as rappers and have both gone on to invent and perfect their own sound, this return to form is beautiful. With Kid Cudi doing his usual chorus routine, “Fire” is inevitably what the name suggests. This is one of my favorite songs of this year especially due in part to the nostalgia I get when hearing my idols in their purest form once more.

4th Dimension

If “Fire” was any indication, Kid Cudi, and Kanye West once again continue this back-to-basics pattern into their next song “4th Dimension”. This song features a gospel drum beat over a sample from a Louis Prima’s song “What Will Santa Claus Say”. “4th Dimension” is seemingly a timeless classic as 1936 meets 2018 with the help of Kanye West’s immaculate sampling techniques. The powerhouse duo glides over the beat to deliver yet another memorable song on Kids See Ghosts. Kanye West once again displays that sampling can give life to songs that people otherwise wouldn’t know. This creativity is definitely a highlight of this 23-minute project.


Unfortunately, if I had to pick my least favorite song from Kids See Ghosts, it would have to be “Freeee”. While this song is still great on its own, it’s the one song I find myself listening to the least out of the seven. “Freeee” is technically a sequel to “Ghost Town” from Ye, however, it fails to live up to the extraordinary sound and feeling that came from the original. With yet another Ty Dolla $ign feature, Kids See Ghosts could be better off without “Freeee”. I personally believe “Ghost Town” and “Freeee” should’ve been switched but regardless, it’s still a song to find enjoyment in.


“Reborn” has got to be the best song on this album hands down. Taking Kid Cudi’s ability to slay any chorus combined with the sincere and down-to-Earth Kanye West we got from Ye is simply a recipe for greatness. Kid Cudi and Kanye West deliver perhaps their best song together of all time with “Reborn”. The message is powerful as Kid Cudi reminds us all to keep moving forward in our search for eternal peace and happiness that we all seek to find in life. This deep message combined with a catchy and dreamy beat is truly the best part of Kids See Ghosts. This constant suggestion to keep moving forward is something that has and surely will stick with me for the rest of my life. This song brings a tear to my eye as it allows me to see the possibilities that life has to offer. Even when life is at it’s absolute worst, it’s important to keep moving forward.

Kids See Ghosts

After the masterpiece that is “Reborn” we enter the final two songs of Kids See Ghosts. With a chorus by Mos Def/Yasiin Bey, the duo decide to go off on their second to last song. The self-titled song is well deserving of the name especially when you take into consideration the relaxed first verse from Kid Cudi that leisurely transitions into an amazing verse by Kanye West who then raps over the smooth beat. This song is very slick and mellow as each of the three rappers lend their voice to increase the level of suave that they have to offer on this track. The highlight of this song has to be the bridge by Yasiin Bey.

Civilization without society
Power and wealth with nobility
Stability without stasis
Places and spaces
Civilization without society
Power and wealth with nobility
Stability without stasis
Spaces and places

With all things considered, this song is perhaps the smoothest and most calm song on this album, which is absolutely refreshing. After this song ends we start the beginning of the end of Kids See Ghosts.

Cudi Montage

“Cudi Montage” is disputably Kid Cudi at his best. While this song is about the rising rates of violence and crime in the world, it also serves as a reminder that we can all be “saved”. With Kanye West detailing the unfortunate and all too real cases of violence in America and around the world, we’re offered refuge by Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and Mr. Hudson in the chorus. Their chorus is about staying strong while asking for forgiveness and assistance when it comes to beating the odds in their lives. This touching ending to an amazing album is a reminder that we can all beat the odds and be better people if we actively apply ourselves and seek out the positive people in the world. As I stated in my article about Kids See Ghosts, this album is ultimately about the friendship between Kid Cudi and Kanye West. Their friendship is the ideal example of the transcendental relationship we all seek to have with others in life. “Cudi Montage” ends the story of Kids See Ghosts on a positive and uplifting note that shows friendship and love will always overcome hate and adversity in life.

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Kids See Ghosts

I’ve waited eight years for this moment, yet was it really worth the hype and wait? Being a longtime Kanye West fan has had its ups and downs. However, at the end of the day, him and Kid Cudi are my two biggest inspirations and all-time favorite musicians. Kids See Ghosts, by all means, should be my favorite album of all time then right? Yet, it’s not. It’s not even in my top five. It’s not my favorite Kanye West nor favorite Kid Cudi album. What it is, however, is an experience and a testament to the idea of friendship. Kid Cudi and Kanye West have been friends for around a decade now ever since Kanye West saw the potential in a young Scott Mescudi and decided to bring him to his label G.O.O.D. Music in 2008. This friendship and comradery is the true idea behind Kids See Ghosts.

Kid Cudi and Kanye West have had an obvious bond throughout their music careers especially on Kanye West’s albums. Five out of eight of Kanye West’s albums feature Kid Cudi. Most of these songs end up being my favorites of the album. Songs such as “Waves” and “Ghost Town” are some of my favorite songs of all time. So why isn’t Kids See Ghosts, an album that’s purely Kid Cudi and Kanye West, not my favorite album of all time? Simply put, this album isn’t for the fans as much as it is for them.

My longest friendship is currently eight, almost nine years long and the one thing I’ve learned from this friendship is that differences will exist. We take opposing sides on almost everything, yet at the end of the day, we agree on what’s important and what needs to be attended to. This same rule goes for Kid Cudi and Kanye West.
Kid Cudi and Kanye West haven’t had the best relationship with constant falling outs and feuds seemingly occurring every few years, yet one thing is guaranteed: Kid Cudi will always appear on Kanye West’s albums.

This friendship is genuine and compassionate, to say the least. At the end of the day, these two rap legends are best friends, and more importantly brothers. So it is inevitably up to Kids See Ghosts to translate this connection into music form. And that’s exactly what Kids See Ghosts does at the end of the day. I don’t love this album because it’s my two favorite musicians making amazing songs, I love this album because it’s my two favorite musicians working together on what brought them together in the first place. Kids See Ghosts is a nod to the years of success, fighting, and association that the two have gone through in the past decade.

Kids See Ghosts is at it’s best when they each have their moment to display the chemistry between each other. Kid Cudi’s soulful hums and singing compliment Kanye West’s witty lyricism, while Kanye West’s ability to take the spotlight allow Kid Cudi to shine on the hooks and chorus to create a harmonious sound.
This album is more than just friendship, it’s about love. This love between friends cannot be broken and this album only further solidifies this claim. Just like my relationship with my friend, we always set our differences aside when it’s essential. We drop our opinions and ideologies in order to find common ground and allow our minds to see the other person’s point of view. This method is exactly what makes Kids See Ghosts work. By thinking that Kids See Ghosts is a thematic sequel to Ye, it allows for a clear and concise conclusion to the narrative of this new version of Kanye West.

Ye introduced us to a transformed Kanye West, a man of friends, family, and happiness. By turning the negatives in his life into positives, Kanye West successfully transitioned into becoming a happy and less-troubled man. However, he couldn’t have done it without Kid Cudi on “Ghost Town”. If we follow this theme into Kids See Ghosts we realize that Kid Cudi and Kanye West have always been there for each other whether it’s Kid Cudi being a good moral support and collaborator with Kanye West to Kanye West putting Kid Cudi on the map, both have been there for each other.

This is why Kids See Ghosts is an experience rather than an album in my opinion. This friendship is what the world needs to see in a world full of hate and anger. Positives and negatives are associated with everything in life, however, it’s crucial we highlight the good over the bad and that’s exactly what these songs do. Both of these legends are growing older and wiser each year but one thing is for sure: Kanye West will always feature Kid Cudi on his album no matter what. That’s what real friends do.

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Expectations surround everyone. The idea that one must live up to their own goals and the goals that others set for them can be quite daunting for anyone. While a musician can eventually live up to the expectations of friends and family, the real challenge is fulfilling the expectations of fans and critics. The taxing effort and thought that a musician must put into their work can be very draining and demanding in order to adequately meet these expectations. The unfortunate truth is that some if not many musicians fail to meet these expectations which result in poor sales and reception.

The first commercial album release is the most defining factor for musicians in this era, which requires demonstration of their talent to the fullest extent. The exhibition of talent determines the future of a musician while also revealing to fans and critics their true potential. More recently, not a lot of musicians have been capable of releasing an outstanding debut album. This practice leads to many musicians being forgotten and find their fanbase becoming attracted to newer and more relevant musicians. However, one artist has come out on top this year and has recently released one the best albums 2017 has to offer while also crafting one of the best debut albums to be released in quite some time.

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OPINIONATED – Why Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager is my favorite album.

I firmly believe that a mere six years ago, the best album in the world was released in my opinion.

In 2010 an album was released that was so ground-breaking it would forever change the way that I listen to music and also gave me a new purpose in life. At the time, I was only a casual music listener who just enjoyed whatever was playing on the radio in the car; that was until Scott Mescudi released his second studio album on November 9, 2010. The album is a mix of club music and emotion about a man who must overcome the biggest obstacle in life: himself.  It is without a doubt the darkest album that Cudi has ever released and it is a very welcomed follow-up to his 2009 debut album. With hooks and even features by some of the most influential artists of all time such as Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, and CeeLo Green one can clearly see how influential this album would be to an awkward 13-year-old social outcast.

The album is the best because it appeals to feelings; the songs that really make you contemplate your life as well as wonder what Cudi felt and went through at the time of recording makes the album almost tangible and life-like. The album covers many different subjects like drugs, love, addiction, emotions, and even mental health. All of these personal aspects come across as endearing and tragic as Cudi tells you about his mistakes, regrets, and future. Not only does this album take you on a journey, it also gives the listener thoughts to ponder about and if you in any way love this album as much as I do, you’ll still be thinking about those thoughts to this day. There is no other album that I have listened to that made me laugh, smile, and cry as much as this one has. For the last six years, this album has given me the same experience every time I listen to it. The change of emotions that a listener goes through is absolutely insane and is a definite recommendation for someone who has not listened to this work of art yet. Continue reading