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Written by on October 9, 2018

By: Carter Bieller

When I first heard that Kanye West was doing an album with Kid Cudi, I did a spit take that was followed with eager anticipation. It’s a duo I wouldn’t have expected right off the bat. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the two could really make something special happen. And I wasn’t wrong. For starters, Kid Cudi has been in the shadows since his 2016 album: Pain, Passion, and Demon Slayin’, which wasn’t one his best albums but still had some notable tracks. I have always been a huge fan of Cudi and his ‘elevated’ lyricism so when new Kid Cudi is presented, I’m all ears. Kanye, on the other hand, is an artist I’ve always respected, but have had a hard time connecting with his music. KIDS SEE GHOSTS, however, has changed my mind on Kanye and it has shined a new light on what these artists can accomplish together. With Kid Cudi’s transcendent mind and Kanye’s ear for production, this album will keep your head bobbing while potentially sparking some inner thought.

One thing to take note of is that this album is somewhat of an extension to Kanye’s precursor album, Ye which explains why there’s only seven tracks on KIDS SEE GHOSTS and seven tracks on Ye, which also features Kid Cudi amongst other artists. Something else to consider is that the credited artist of the album is KIDS SEE GHOSTS which is most likely the name of Cudi’s and Kanye’s group together.

The first track doesn’t hold back at all. It throws you right into an aggressively produced skat beat created by Kanye, accompanied by Pusha T for the verse and Kid Cudi’s “I can still feel the love” echoing throughout the song. The next track “Fire” has a more obvious Cudi sound to it: filled with distant laser sounds and a tambourine with each hit of the bass. Fans were shocked to find out that credit was given to Andre 3000 (Outkast) for helping produce this track on the album, which I was ecstatic to hear about. These two songs are a great way to introduce listeners to exactly what they’re getting into. The album is filled with a trippy and spacey sound accompanied by Kid Cudi’s notorious humming, which results in a concoction of psychedelic rap and progressive rock that fits together well (the mischievous laugh before Cudi’s verse in “4th Dimension” really taps your crescendo). The album itself shows unity with individualism. It makes me ponder the thought of how we interpret togetherness within our society, yet we choose to avoid the gaping void between cultures and races. It also points out the limits and struggles we put ourselves through, but the power to do what we want lives inside all of us.

My favorite song on the album is “Reborn”. This track represents both Kanye and Cudi turning over a new leaf to overcome and to “keep moving forward” after both artists have struggled with mental illness. Even Kanye West can fall, but it’s a song of motivation to not stay down and to keep moving forward.

This album is such a fun listen because if you know either of the artists, they like to throw unconventional sounds in your face and you’re not sure what’s coming next.  I continue to become impressed with this album the more I listen to it, and I’m excited to see what KIDS SEE GHOSTS does in the future. The two of them obviously have chemistry together when it comes to making music, and I think the both of them could really learn a lot from one another.

Rating: 8/10

Favorite tracks: “Reborn”, “Fire”, and “4th Dimension”