Kanye West Releases First Single Off New Album ‘Cruel Winter’ Called ‘Champions’

Kanye West continues to make headlines, though this one is for music and not an 8 minute rant.

West’s album, The Life Of Pablo, was released on February 14 of this year. Hundreds of fans have already downloaded or streamed the album, and reviews are flowing in. Controversy surrounded the album for months, but that’s no surprise considering Kanye’s track record. Much has changed since the College Dropout days. However, Kanye has been hard at work and has released his first single off of his next album, Cruel Winter.

The track, titled “Champions,” features artists Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Desiigner, Big Sean, Yo Gotti, Quavo, and Travis Scott. That’s quite a few big names for a single, and it can only leave fans wondering just what else Kanye has in store. It appears to be a positive sign that he can still produce music to such a degree, especially with the consistency of his drama with Kim Kardashian and the rest of the family.


According to Rolling Stone, “Champions” was premiered on Los Angeles radio on Friday, when Kanye West made a surprise appearance. The song made its first appearance on Big Boy in the Morning, and West is sure to be making the rounds to increase the hype for his new album. However, there are no concrete details in regard to the album and when the “Jesus Walks” rapper will be releasing it. The Life of Pablo was similar, though, as it took quite a while for West to settle on the final name. Will Cruel Winter be treated the same way? Kanye has made mention that there will be more mixing done before the track and album are released, but the wait is most likely an aspect of Kanye’s methods that fans won’t be surprised about.

“I had the basic beat for a year and a half. It sounded right for this project,” Kanye told Big Boy. West is considered a pioneer in the music world, and there are many who would agree. “Champions” is heavily laced with synth, and the beat bangs as multiple artists throw their lyrical genius onto the instrumental. Big Sean is as confident as ever, and 2 Chainz manages to maintain a humorous rhyme scheme that gives the single a catchy flow. Overall, multiple styles interact to produce a collective sound worthy of the label and those signed to it.


Apparently, the Cruel Winter project has been in the works for over a year. HotNewHipHop reports that it’s been around 3 years since the album was first talked about and discussed as a rumor. Artists seem to have a knack for releasing albums out of left field, and the trend has proven successful thus far. A prime example would be Beyonce, who released the album Beyonce without prior promotion. Drake, the Toronto native responsible for the catchy “Hotline Bling,” released the mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which quickly drew fans in to download and listen to the rumored project. These are just two of many, and it appears that Kanye might be following a similar path to Cruel Winter.

Perhaps Kanye is showcasing the talent from the G.O.O.D. Music label. As the head of the table that seats quite a few all-star artists, it makes sense that West would release “Champions” as the debut single. Not only does it pull in fans from each artist as a whole, but it offers a taste of what the completed project will sound like.

Have you had a chance to listen to Kanye West’s “Champions?” What do you anticipate for the Cruel Winter album? Let us know in the comments section below.

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