Cruel Winter is coming. Fans have been patiently waiting for the sequel to G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer and now, it looks like the five-year wait is almost over.
CyHi the Prynce, one of the key figures behind the compilation, recently stopped by Rap-Up HQ to reveal that the highly-anticipated album could be out as soon as Christmas.
“I think we can [expect it this year],” said CyHi, whose debut album No Dope on Sundays is due this summer. “Once my album comes out and it takes off, I can get [Travis Scott] back in there and we’ll finish it up. It could be this…maybe Christmas.”
According to CyHi, who’s been opening for Lil Wayne on the “Kloser 2 U Tour,” the album has been a labor of love for him and La Flame since they started working on it, right before The Life of Pablo’s release.
“It’s like 50/50,” he explained. “Trav is the production side of the album. I’m more of the concept, writing side of the album. It’s really us two getting together and finishing it and then everybody else will come to do what they have to do. But [Scott] is super sought-after right now. Everybody wants him so you gotta stop booking Trav, guys. If you want the Cruel Winter album, stop asking him for concerts.”
Talks about Cruel Winter started back in June of last year, when Kanye West dropped “Champions” with verses from Gucci Mane, Desiigner, Quavo, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Yo Gotti, and Travis, but that was only a warm-up. “That was more of a ‘G.O.O.D. Friday’ feel, that got you guys ready for Cruel Winter,” said CyHi. “Cruel Winter sounds a little different because you might want to make it a winter album. Those are more summer songs. I don’t know how he wants to do that, but we have a lot of records together.”
Many of those songs still need to be completed. “Sometimes, you might have a Pusha T verse that’s 12 bars and he mumbled the other eight and didn’t get a chance to finish them,” he explained. “Stuff like that. Trav might go in there and lay a dope melody. I wrote a rap to it, but he didn’t finish the lyrics on the melody, so it’s little things like that. But the production’s there, everything’s there. We just have to find another time.”
Kanye’s Cruel Summer compilation was released in 2012. That year, Q-Tip hinted at a sequel. “If there’s a Cruel Summer then there’s got to be a Cruel Winter, right?” he asked. Still, talks of the follow-up subsided until June of last year, when Kanye broke the news.
“Sometimes you have snippets, ideas, beats,” he said. “You got like a solid seven, eight songs that we know is gonna make the album and the others ones [are like] a beat from Mike WiLL [Made-It] or Travis [Scott] just brought three songs through … We sit there and we work together on our stuff. I look at it as we on the same team.”
By September, Scott said the album would be released in early 2017. “I’m executive producing the album,” he said at the time. “It’s coming very soon. I want to say the top of next year. I’m putting the press on everybody. I’m saying February. I would say we have a lot of songs done. How many songs do we have picked? I would only say like a handful.”
That prospective date came and went, as Kanye dealt with serious issues, including his wife Kim Kardashian’s robbery and his subsequent hospitalization. After staying away from the public eye, ‘Ye has reportedly retreated to a Wyoming mountaintop, where he’s working on his next solo project. “He tries to do so much that sometimes, he has to reset,” CyHi says of West’s recent hiatus. “That’s what he had to realize, he had to take some time for his family, himself, and his health.”