When an artists announces the release of an upcoming album we used to get excited. But now we’ve come to learn all the hype often results in a bust. We’ve been waiting 15 years for Tupac and Boot Camp Click’s One Nation album, about 10 years for Dr. Dre’s Detox and the collaboration album with DJ Premier and Nas is on an indefinite watch list. Cruel Winter, the alleged follow up to G.O.O.D. Music’s compilation album Cruel Summer (released in the fall) has went from real to myth to imminent to impossible in four months. Lets take a trip through the stops and starts of one of the most anticipated Hip-Hop releases that may not actually exist.
It all started with Hip Hop legend and G.O.O.D. Music signee Q-Tip’s noticeable absence from Cruel Summer. Talking with MTV at the BET Hip Hop Awards on September 29th, the A Tribe Called Quest producer/rapper hinted at a sequel: “if there is a Cruel Summer then there has to be a Cruel Winter, right?”
…and so it begins.
And it’s going to be a cruel mutha fu%kin winter.
— TEYANA M.J. TAYLOR (@TEYANATAYLOR) October 1, 2012
October 20th: The originator of the rumor himself, later told Hip Hop Since 1987 that he will definitely be on the album but once again veiled it in secrecy by stating “I can’t really let out too much details.” Then enters Pusha T October 26th: The first signs of uncertainty of Cruel Winter’s priority in the G.O.O.D. Music pecking order first appeared during Pusha T’s interview with BBC Radio One 1Xtra’s DJ Semtex:
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November 1st: A little over a month after Q-Tip put the idea of Cruel Winter into the collective subconscious, video director Austin Christianson (Wiz Khalifa’s “Cameras”) uploaded this trailer and effectively sent the internet ablaze and made Cruel Winter more corporeal. Until this…
— Def Jam Recordings (@DefJamRecords) November 1, 2012
November 5th: Austin Christianson informed Fuse that the trailer was “independently made” and essentially was a concept video “intended for only the client to see.”
For weeks there was no news on Cruel Winter as it experienced its biggest gap between information being released(22 days) until Big Sean entered the fray.
November 27th: In another G.O.O.D. Music artist interview with DJ Semtex, The Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay rapper confirmed fans will get a Cruel Winter album and even went as far as to claim he already cut a record for the rumored opus. “It can’t be Cruel Spring,” Big Sean tells DJ Semtex “It’s gotta be in a timely fashion.”
November 28th: A day after Big Sean claims he recorded for Cruel Winter, John Legend, one of the original G.O.O.D. Music signees told Rolling Stone in an interview that he has at least a couple of songs on the album even referring to a “final cut” implying that the process of song selection was imminent thus giving veracity to Big Sean’s earlier claim of Cruel Winter’s timely release.
December 14th: Weeks after no information on Cruel Winter and four days before the winter solstice, Big Sean told MTV News backstage at the Power 106’s Cali Christmas Concert in L.A that fans might get Cruel Winter. A little less confident than he was 17 days ago with DJ Semtex.
For another 17 days there was no word on Cruel Winter and after over three months of interview clips and tweets no songs materialized. Then a ray of hope beamed from a forgotten source
December 31st: Poet/rapper/songwriter Malik Yusef, along with John Legend and Common is one of the founding members of G.O.O.D. Music, appeared on Cruel Summer and has worked with Kanye West for over 10 years. So when this Instagram picture of him and Kanye appears on his Instagram account with the caption “we was working on NEW!!!” followed by “#cruelwinter”, it is a cause to believe Cruel Winter is not only real but gaining momentum.
After another 2 weeks without any new information, the winter begins to get truly cruel for Hip Hop fans still anticipating Cruel Winter.
January 17th: In Common’s sit down with Vibe Magazine the Chicago master of rhyme stated he is unsure if there will be a Cruel Summer album. He attributed a concerted effort to focus on G.O.O.D. Music’s artists’ solo albums with the difficulty to put together another compilation disc.
January 23rd: Less than a week after Common squashed rumors of Cruel Winter’s existence, G.O.O.D. Music producer and hitmaker extraordinaire Hit-Boy (“N*ggas In Paris”, “Goldie”, “Backseat Freestyle”) places the album in the realm of fantasy. In an interview with Power 106, Hit-Boy reveals:
“Until I get that word from Kanye himself like ‘we doin’ this,’ then it’s not real. So it is what it is.”
January 28th: Days following the burial of Cruel Winter by Hit-Boy, Team Kanye Daily retweeted this tweet from recent G.O.O.D. Music signee, Travi$ Scott’s personal Twitter account:
RT @trvisxx: Cruel winter is still comin.
— Team Kanye Daily (@TeamKanyeDaily) January 28, 2013
While cytpic tweets reading “#cw” and “winter” remain on the 20 year-old Houston bred MC’s twitter account, the one retweeted has vanished.
January 30th: Almost four months to the day of the initial mention of Cruel Winter, Pusha T told MTV News that Cruel Winter has withered away from an definitely coming out to there were “intentions” of creating a Cruel Winter. He also reaffirmed Common’s earlier point on solo ventures holding up the album but expounding on that point claiming “ there’s so much music floating, but G.O.O.D. Music isn’t one to just piece a project together.”
February 5th: Travi$ Scott seems to be the last line of Cruel Winter hope as he tells Complex Mag “Cruel Winter is happening for real. F*ck what nigg*s is talking about, that sh*t is real.” Seeing as the main people debunking Cruel Winter‘s existence are his fellow labelmates, this sounds a lot like Big Sean’s affirmation of Cruel Winter‘s impending arrival and we know how that has ended.
In four months Cruel Winter went from an early Christmas present to an early April’s fool joke to a ghost of rumor mill past. While solo album projects may be the overall cause for the delay, it is apparent that all albums in G.O.O.D. Music begin and end with the head of the label, Kanye West. With rumors of Watch The Throne 2 floating around, his sixth solo album impending , an upcoming baby on the way and spring coming in a little over a month and a half , it is safe to say that Cruel Winter can officially be buried “alive”.
February 7th: Cruel Winter is either a figment of Travi$ Scott’s imagination or he is the bearer of groundbreaking news. The 20 year old MC informed DJ Semtex that the first single off Cruel Winter will be “I Got Bandz” which will appear on his latest EP, Owl Pharoah on February 22nd. No word yet on who is featured on the song.
Or at least until Cruel Summer 2.
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