In 2012, Kanye West’s label ,G.O.O.D. Music, shook up the entire music industry by dropping a full label compilation album, with a huge mix of crazy tracks titled Cruel Summer. Though many fans have been sitting anxiously, waiting on Kanye’s next solo project, SWISH, the latest album rumor circulating is that a follow-up to Cruel Summer could be in the works, and releasing later this week. Cruel Winter, as its fittingly set to be called, has been rumoured for years, but a apparent track-list found it’s way on to the internet this week, causing mass hysteria surrounding the project.
But the question remains: Should we believe the hype or not… is Cruel Winter really happening? We took a brief look at a history of the rumors, and tried to uncover whether this could really be possible.
A History Of Hype:
Since the months following the release of “Cruel Summer“, there have always been chatter about a possible follow-up.
The earliest evidence of a GOOD Music artist speaking about the album was from all the way back in 2012, when Q-Tip, a recent signee at the time, was asked why he didn’t make it on Cruel Summer. His response? “If there’s a Cruel Summer, then there’s got to be a Cruel Winter, right?”
Very soon after Q came out, Big Sean was the next artist to out-right tell the media that he had recorded for Cruel Winter. Sean states in an interview with DJ Semtex “Oh God. Swerve. Yeah, you’re gonna get it. I don’t know about that. You gotta wait and see man, I don’t know. It can’t be Cruel Spring. It’s gotta be in a timely fashion. I know I did something for it, for Cruel Winter, and I was like goddamnit, I need to cut this for my album because it was really good,”
By the time 2013 hit, there was no let up in the rumours, as both Travis Scott and Ye himself, talked about the possiblity of the album. While speaking to MTV, Scott stated “’Ye still go all the way hard about Cruel Winter, so you just never know”. A few months after, when asked “What About Cruel Winter?”, Ye responded “We go back and fourth on it… We just keep missing the winter! [Laughs]”
Pusha T, in contrast has been the one of the only GOOD Music artists to out-right shoot down the idea of a Cruel Winter, stating “We’re not doing the Cruel Winter album or the Cruel Summer sequel. There are too many projects we got going on“. It should be noted that this statement was made before Yeezus, MNIMN, and Hall Of Fame dropped. Since then, each artist have dropped their respected albums, although King Push and SWISH are still reportedly in the works.
Fast forward to earlier this week, 2015, as Kanye sat down with SHOWStudio reporter Lou Stoppard. In the 2 hour interview, Ye addresses fashion, his presidential run, and briefly, music. Ye, ever so sly, metions that he has plans to release his Cruel Summer movie to the public one day, but he is more focused on GOOD music projects at the moment, which is what led to the online-plumbers (looking for the leaks) to allegedly dig up the track-list we see today.
To add fuel to the fire, GOOD Music artist since 2005, Malik Yusef just tweeted this:
Now we’ll take a look at the tracklist that’s been floating around, to see if it seems plausible.
At first glance, the tracklist looks TOO good to be true, but then again, compared to Cruel Summer, which featured tracks like “Clique” (Jay-Z, Kanye, and Big Sean), “New God Flow” (Pusha T, Ghostface Killah, and Kanye), and “Don’t Like” Remix (Kanye, Chief Keef, Pusha T, Big Sean, and Jadakiss), the array of names doesn’t seem so unlikely. Not to mention Travis Scott hinted at himself and Ye unearthing some groundbreaking work soon, about a week ago.
Inclusion isn’t a great hint, but exclusion could be. The lack of GOOD Music names like John Legend, or Teyana Taylor is definitely suspicious. Teyana has mentioned recently that she will not be taking a break from music to focus on her impending motherhood, and with an album like this, a possible 3 years in the making, wouldn’t excuse absence anyways. John Legend, a go-to hook man on GOOD music is also a suspicious snuff, especially being a longtime friend of Kanye West, and the first signed member to GOOD back in 2004.
So what does this all mean? Well, not much. But surprisingly, even for an album that seems way too good to be true, the facts seem to lead us to believe that a Cruel Winter compilation album does actually exist. Whether this is a real tracklist, and whether the release is actually set for this week (the rumour mill believes this Friday is the day), is yet to be seen.
For now, all that’s left to do is sit and wait, fingers crossed, and pray to Yeezus that #YeezySeason continues.
Keep it locked to redleafgoldteeth for all Cruel Winter updates, news, and leaks.
UPDATE: The artwork that has been floating around has been identified. Obviously a basic flip of the cruel summer cover, the original artwork can be traced back to this link: https://www.behance.net/gallery/16206253/Cruel-Winter-GOOD-Music