LAME OR FLAMES…
KIDS SEE GHOSTS is an American hip-hop duo consisting of artists Kanye West and Kid Cudi. The collaborative effort was announced through Kanye’s Twitter on April 19th, 2018, with an album release being teased shortly after.
it’s called Kids See Ghost. That’s the name of our group
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018
me and Cudi album June 8th
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018
KIDS SEE GHOSTS is the first collaborative album between Kanye and Cudi. It is the third album in a series of five albums executively produced by Kanye, following Pusha T’s DAYTONA and Kanye’s solo album ye.
Similar to the release of ye the week prior, KIDS SEE GHOSTS was premiered at a listening party and live-streamed via the WAV app. In line with the theme of the album, the listening party was held at a ghost-town.
Here’s my list from least flames to most flames. Song info provided by Genius.
NO. 7 – “Kids See Ghosts”
On the album’s namesake track, Cudi is introspective while Kanye addresses the expectations and pressures that come with fame, as well as his attitude toward his competition and possibly the media. This is also not the first time Kanye has tried to tap into the youth and made reference to kids interacting with spirits, having noticeably rapped about this on “Dark Fantasy”.
NO. 6 – “4th Dimension” (feat. Louis Prima)
Sampling Louis Prima’s “What Will Santa Claus Say” to eerie effect, Kanye and Cudi touch on everything from accidental anal sex, to Ric Flair and Lacoste. The sample of “Someday” by Shirley Ann Lee which appears at the end of the song was also used on “Ghost Town” from Kanye’s 8th album ye. The tracks also share a similarly themed title, drawing inspiration from the supernatural.
NO. 5 – “Fire”
Kanye and Cudi bring up their failures in life and the people who judge them for it. Instead of caring about this, they choose to ignore it, even going as far as stating that they “[…] love all your shit talkin’”. The song also brings up their wish to be forgiven for these wrongdoings, with the outro being Cudi begging for Heaven to lift him up, despite all the scars that he’s left behind.
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NO. 4 – “Freeee” (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)
This song is officially designated as “Ghost Town’s” sequel. Kid Cudi provided vocals for the original song’s chorus. The follow-up revolves around its precursor’s outro: “And nothing hurts anymore, I feel kinda free…” The track opens with a quote by renowned activist and Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey, from a 1924 interview regarding charges of mail fraud and political persecution. Kanye and Cudi reinforce a message of self-mastery by transcending the constant criticism of others and defying boundaries set by society.
NO. 3 – “Feel The Love”
Pusha T delivers the song’s sole rap verse. Cudi feels the love that is surrounding him, despite the fact that audible gun sounds can be heard throughout the song.
NO. 2 – “Cudi Montage”
The melody is built around the grimy guitar riff from Kurt Cobain’s “Burn the Rain.” Kanye uses the sample to describe the cycle of violence created by a gang mentality, the far-reaching damage it causes, and that being freed from the loop requires a higher power.
NO. 1 – “Reborn”
Kanye and Cudi discuss how they’ve overcome their personal issues, moving forward from their previous mistakes. Cudi had lived a life of nightmare having struggled with depression and drug abuse. While Kanye has been part of many controversies before, it seems that he is ready to move forward as well. With the release of his latest album, ye, Kanye describes his struggle with bipolar disorder and opioid addiction, among many other things.
Furthermore, the term ‘reborn’ perfectly describes the transition that Ye and Cudi have gone through. To be reborn means to be brought back to life; revived and regenerated. The idea of being reborn is used as a metaphor by Cudi in the chorus, explaining the way both artists have evolved and changed from their past selves.
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