After releasing Ye, his highly anticipated eighth solo album, last week, Kanye West is continuing his planned five album roll-out throughout the summer with the release of Kids See Ghosts, his collaborative effort with Kid Cudi, last night in Los Angeles.
West has already been a part of Pusha T’s Daytona project that released at the end of May and is also slated to take a leading role in the creation of two upcoming albums from Teyana Taylor and Nas, respectively.
The release of Ye last week brought about quite a stir in the hip-hop community for a variety of aspects, as most of Kanye’s bodies of work do. Clearly, the mention of his beliefs on slavery, politics, mental health, and other aspects are given controversial subjects now, but also the choice to do such a short project, the eclectic feature list, and just the overall meaning of Ye have been constant discussion points since its release. Given that Ye was such a far departure from West’s other releases, it’s understandable how it would cause quite a polarizing response among fans
However last night, with the release of Kids See Ghosts, West took the same approach he did with Ye and applied it to a project that fans of the two have been anticipating for nearly a decade. Ever since West contributed to Cudi’s Man On The Moon; The End Of Day project in 2009, the hype between a collaborative body of work between the two has been steadily building. With both releasing projects consistently since then and not a single substantial hint at true collaboration, it seemed like fans would never see an album, that is, until now.
In a bonfire set up similar to the one West put together in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for Ye, select individuals were given the chance to join West, Cudi, and friends as they listened to the album together as a whole for the first time.
The album takes West’s eclectic lyrics and masterful production, utilization, and implementation of samples from far before his time and matches them with Cudi’s soulful vocals and ability to manipulate his voice to almost be an instrument of its own.
The rapper also commissioned famed Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, whom he worked with early in his career on the album art and animation for Graduation, to design the exact same for Kids See Ghosts.
The event was, of course, not without its own merchandise as well, with Kanye implementing one of his former creative directors during the Yeezus era, Virgil Abloh, to aid in designing another round of clothing for his latest project. The clothing showcases the album artwork adorning the backs of various pieces, with small printed words on the front and back that are reminiscent of Abloh’s Caravaggio line from his label Off-White.