It’s been a long seven years since DJ Kay Slay released a full-length studio album and he’s definitely making up for lost time.
From a track listing that was released this July for The Big Brother, the album is set to be filled with a smorgasbord of big-name rappers and artists – think The Outlawz, 2 Chainz and French Montana (amongst many, many others) big.
One of his newly released singles is Cold Summer and it is the hip-hop rap collaboration we never knew we wanted but definitely needed.
The release of Cold Summer follows off Kendrick Lamar’s massive wins at the MTV VMAs, with him taking home six out of eight nominated awards with Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and the coveted Video of the Year Award.
On the track, Kendrick opens the song with his signature wordplay and flowing style to tell a bleak story of growing up on the streets. Observing that most lives end early due to gun violence, “Tire marks and gun smoke stories […] Twenty-five? Then you are the oldest”, he blends the hard truth with the song’s melody and beat.
Rell’s soulful voice intersperses the song with a melodic chorus that balances out the sting of the rappers’ words despite similarly sombre lyrics, “Even when it’s warm outside/these streets can get so cold./Gotta love the game ‘cause ain’t no love/and that ain’t gon’ never change”, bringing insight into the song’s title.
Mac Miller cruises back into Cold Summer with a drawling yet upbeat verse that we’ve learned to love. He raps about the work he’s done to get where he is, and in classic hip-hop style sends sly digs at other rappers “talkin’ shit to act a fool” while promising trouble with him and Kendrick Lamar on a track.
If this is what trouble sounds like, we’re sure fans would be down for more collaborations between these two in the future.
Kevin Gates then changes the tone of the song again, picking up the pace with the longest and most hard-hitting verse out of the three, “like Eminem b*tch I ain’t never knew my mama/Changed on the first, born father wasn’t sh*t”.
And more so than in the start, while Rell’s voice perfectly juxtaposes the rapper’s, the lyrics complement the final angsty verse to finish off the song.
The full album is scheduled to drop on 22 September and until then you can listen to Cold Summer below.