Despite controversy, somber, and mistakes, Kanye West and Kid Cudi refreshes us all with their new album, Kids See Ghosts.
Written by Mark Glotzbach, Follow his Blog @markglotzbach
Kids See Ghosts is a collaborative project by Kanye West and Kid Cudi.
After the past few months of Kanye West receiving high amounts of bad publicity, (whether it be from his wacky verse on his “Lift Yourself” track, or his claim that slavery was a choice) it’s a relief to see Yeezy putting out some solid music.
The release of Kids See Ghosts comes just a week after Kanye’s solo “Ye” album, which seemed like a very cathartic project for Kanye, admitting to having bi-polar disorder along with the troubling thoughts that arise from such an illness, as well as a track about viewing women differently after having daughters. I was very pleasantly surprised with “Ye“; for someone as self absorbed and proud as Kanye to open up about mental illness is quite refreshing, although some would disagree with the way he went about it, going as far as calling his bipolar disorder a super power, but you can’t expect him to become too humble, he is Yeezus after all.
Kids See Ghosts, however, is on another level entirely. The opening track begins with Cudi’s voice echoing the song’s title “I can still feel the love,” followed by Kanye’s opening verse which he finishes by expressing his love for trap music and energetically throws in some barakakakas and bopbopbops as well as some howling. It’s a simple track but jump starts the album with explosive energy.
The next track “Fire” is very reminiscent of Cudi’s early work, creating the beat with his iconic humming and a creepy distorted laugh very similar to that of his track “The Mood” off of Man on the Moon II.
“4th Dimension” may be my favorite track, beginning with a sample of an old Louis Prima New Orleans jazz tune, which they then remix and have Kanye rap a verse over. To transition from Kanye’s to Cudi’s verse they throw in a laugh track that sounds like a cackling witch, making the song feel like the soundtrack to a black and white Halloween cartoon, perhaps one where kids see ghosts? The track finishes out with a producer’s voice saying “Just do that, then let the music do something, then do that again, that’ll be enough for a record, I mean you only want two and a half minutes if you can get it, three minutes max.” This line feels like a comical fourth wall break, especially once you notice that particular phrase is what brings the song to the two and a half minute mark.
The fourth track of Kids See Ghosts is titled “Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2)“, part one can be found on the “Ye” album and also features Kid Cudi. Part one also features 070 shake singing that she feels free, where part two begins with Kanye expressing the same sentiment. It’s an interesting way to make an obvious connection between the two projects and drive home the idea that these artists feel free to create what they want to create without any concern for their critics’ opinions. This makes it even more fitting for the next track on Kids See Ghosts to be titled “Reborn“, which is about accepting responsibility for your past mistakes and struggles but constantly moving forward and evolving into what you need to be to get through it.
Next is the title track, which brings in an eerie vibe, featuring what sounds like a theremin. I could be wrong but based on the lyrics I take the phrase “kids see ghosts” to refer to how children can catch glimpses of who their parents used to be, whether it be through their past artistic material or a momentary return to old behaviors and habits. Even though these artists view that part of themselves to be dead and gone, those aspects of who they were can make appearances much like a haunting spirit. This would fit well with the theme of rebirth and moving forward from your past self.
The final song on Kids See Ghosts is titled “Cudi Montage” which reminds me a lot of the feel of the “IndiCud” album. It has a very mellow, almost somber, vibe to it.
Overall the album is extremely good, and with only 7 tracks (about 28 minutes worth) I highly encourage everyone to listen to it in it’s entirety. Each song stands well on its own, but collectively the tracks take the listener on a journey.
You can find Kids See Ghosts on Spotify.