First, Q-Tip hinted that G.O.O.D. Music had every intention of following their Cruel Summer album with the sequential Cruel Winter. While we're not sure if Tip's been designated the official tipster for the project, he's sure been the main one talking about it, confirming the album's on the horizon in another, more recent interview with HH1987. Teyana Taylor co-signed it by saying “Well, I mean, Q-Tip don’t lie. If it’s been a Cruel Summer, it’s definitely gonna be a cruel, Cruel Winter."
Since everything sounds like the album's in its early stages, we decided to offer up a handful of suggestions that could make Cruel Winter a bit better than the Summer.
1. More CyHi The Prynce
Because everyone else in the clique has cemented their own fanbase. It's time for the team's self-proclaimed "James Harden" to get a bit of burn in the spotlight. Consider giving Teyana Taylor and Travis Scott attention as well.
2. Bring In The Artist Formerly Known As Mos Def
Mos Yasiin Bey just seems right here, even if he's just asked to do his usual skatting, ad-libbing and maybe a bit of banter with Kanye on an interlude where they talk high fashion and such.
3. Bring In The Family Business--Literally
Because if Q-Tip's in the mix, ask his cousin Consequence to hop on at least one track. Despite what may or may not have been said between Yeezy and his one-time Queens partner-in-rhyme, some of Kanye's best work came with a Cons guest verse.
4. Letting Mannie Fresh Handle Some Of The Production Duties
Because wasn't the former Cash Money production wizard supposed to be a part of this whole thingy in the first place? Fresh has alluded to his work with Kanye and the camp in a few interviews and it would be good to sample what he brings to the table.
5. More Unity
Because Cruel Summer seemed disjointed, meaning it probably was. That's surprising because Kanye was on almost every track. If we want to view Cruel Winter as an actual album rather than a collection of platforms for G.O.O.D. artists to flex on, 'Ye needs to bring it all together like he's done so masterfully on his solo albums.
6. The Corresponding Movie
The album was supposed to be accompanied by the release of a movie or so we thought. For whatever reason, the movie saw a small screening but never got a wider release. Maybe this time around, aim smaller and document the studio sessions from these magical, mythical sessions that take place in Hawaii. Drop it on Hov's YouTube channel or something more fitting (and accessible).
7. More Soul Samples
Because Yeezy taught us what an expertly crafted soul sample can do to a Hip-Hop song. He hasn't appeared on many since his Late Registration days, but when the RZA and Kanye teamed up for "White Dress" we were reminded about what endeared us to the G.O.O.D. Music honcho in the first place.
8. More Kid Cudi Hooks
Because remember how great "Gorgeous" sounded?
9. Reaching Out To Chicago Artists Who Deserve It
Because Cruel Summer's "I Don't Like" remix made Chief Keef a made man. That's all well and good but Kanye should reach out to more talents that deserve that sort of exposure and could really become major stars after the co-sign. Vic Mensa and Kids These Days, anyone? Given the early history with 'Ye, what about Mikkey Halsted getting in on the act?