Kanye, Drake, Travis Scott Summer Releases Greeted With Mixed Reactions


Ye, Kanye West’s much anticipated summer release, was met with mixed reactions.

Many students have had all summer to listen to newly released music albums from trending artists like Drake and Travis Scott and others released in the summer of 2018.

One popular album that came out this summer was a Kanye West effort that was released on the last day of the 2017-2018 school year for Olympic Heights, June 1, 2018. Ye was West’s first studio album in nearly two and a half years and serves as a statement of comeback as West has been dealing with mental health issues. So, the excitement around the album was expected. The release is West’s eighth studio album, and, at a point, three different tracks spent some time in the top 40 of the United Kingdom’s singles chart.

Sophomore Isaac Moss feels the various beats that West uses throughout this album and past releases are what he enjoys about West’s music overall. In Ye, the beats were hand produced by West himself and help from other producers such as Mike Dean and Benny Blanco.

Moss also says the change in flows and beats from each song are very unique and are what make this album special in his mind. Moss adds, “The songs I liked were ‘All Mine,’ ‘Violent Crimes,’ and ‘Yikes.’” These three songs all have very unique flows and beats with one being very quick-paced to a whole other part of the album having a very slow beat and unique flow from West.

Next came an album from an artist who has had one of the greatest years so far in 2018: Drake. The Canadian rapper who was known to be on a cold streak and not producing great music came back this year and produced hits such as “God’s Plan” (the video for which topped 750 million views on YouTube), “Nice for What,” and a feature with fellow rapper BlocBoy JB called “Look Alive.” He completed his 2018 comeback after releasing the album Scorpion.

This album had aspects that everyone was expecting: slower beats with slower tones and other characteristics that one might not expect, including a song with samples from the late artist Michael Jackson, “Don’t Matter to Me.” Scorpion also gave the world a viral video challenge called the “In My Feelings” challenge where participants would hop out of their car door and dance to the chorus of the song. Participants included stars and celebrities such as Odell Beckham Jr., Will Smith, and DJ Khaled. To this day, Scorpion has 13 different tracks in the top 100 of Apple Music’s charts.

Freshman Matthew Portner and junior Chris Muro agree on the songs “Nonstop” and “In My Feelings” as being two of their favorites among the 25 total tracks on the album. They also agree that Drake’s flow and the beat throughout the album are unique. With the help of producers including Tay Keith and and Murda Beatz, Drake produced many songs with various flows. However, each has a very different impact on the album than the other.

Still, Muro feels that Scorpion is not Drake’s best work, claiming, “I didn’t like that album at all.” He went on to say that other Drake albums such as Views, released in 2016, had much better lyrics, style, and “hits.” For example, he thinks the top songs “Hype” and “Pop Style” on Views surpass the top songs on Scorpion, “Blue Tint” and “Jaded.”

Muro adds Scorpion “was overhyped, and there were way too many songs.” Drake announced the album two months before it’s release, so fans such as Muro were expecting a lot from the artist. Muro also notes that Drake should have thought of “quality over quantity” as many of the songs were not very good.

On the other hand, Portner really enjoyed the album. He named many songs he likes, which was a polar opposite of Muro. Portner says that the 2018 album “lived up to its hype” and Drake is one of his favorite artists. “I like how he expresses his lyrics in his music,” he explains. Most of the songs he prefers are ones where Drake uses a slower beat to express his thoughts in the form of musical lyrics.

Finally, one of the most hyped albums of this generation completed it’s long awaited release date on Aug. 3, 2018. Astroworld by popular artist Travis Scott was first mentioned back in May of 2016 via social media. In late 2017, Scott was featured in a single track with artist Trippie Redd named “Dark Knight Dummo” where Scott rapped “Astroworld’s my planet, my home” to display a double meaning: an old amusement park in his hometown of Houston that was taken down and a teaser for a studio album with a release date that was unknown.

Sophomore Mason Avni says of Astroworld, “It was overhyped. It wasn’t good,” explaining the songs are “too repetitive” and have too much of a similar style. Scott has many fans, however, the complaints from people who don’t enjoy his music are similar to Avni’s: too much of a similar style where the songs start to sound the same after awhile.

Despite his complaints, Avni has a positive view of the album, saying, “‘Stargazing’ was my favorite song of the album despite the album not living up to its hype.” Obviously, many others have similar opinions on one of their favorite songs because, according to Apple Music, the track is sitting at number three on the top 100 charts.

Also, Avni did not enjoy the change of tone in the middle of some songs, especially the top song on the album according to Apple Music charts, “Sicko Mode” featuring Drake. The track has sudden changes of tone throughout the song that Avni did not enjoy, “the wait was too long for an album that did not live up to it’s long awaited hype.”

Summer 2018 brought the world some great music ranging from long awaited albums such as Astroworld and Scorpion and albums that came out of nowhere such as Ye. Fans of these albums artists had very different opinions on the releases, but all could probably come to the conclusion that the music released this summer made it one to remember.