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Kids See Ghosts (album)

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Kids See Ghosts
Kids See Ghost Cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 8, 2018 (2018-06-08)
Recorded2017–2018
StudioKanye West's ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Genre
Length23:53
Label
Producer
Kanye West chronology
Ye
(2018)
Kids See Ghosts
(2018)
Jesus Is King
(2019)
Kid Cudi chronology
Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'
(2016)
Kids See Ghosts
(2018)
Entergalactic
(2020)

Kids See Ghosts is the eponymous debut studio album by American hip hop duo Kids See Ghosts, composed of Kanye West and Kid Cudi. It was released on June 8, 2018, through GOOD Music and distributed by Def Jam Recordings. Prior to the release, West and Cudi enjoyed a strong relationship as close friends and musical allies since meeting in 2008, and expressed a desire to record a collaborative album. However, an album never initially materialized, with the duo instead experiencing brief fallings-out in 2013 and 2016. They reunited a year later, when the first studio sessions for the album began.

Kids See Ghosts features guest contributions from Pusha T, Yasiin Bey and Ty Dolla Sign, as well as a vocal sample of Louis Prima, who is credited posthumously as a featured artist. Prominent production is featured from both members of the duo, with further contributions by Dot da Genius, Mike Dean, Evan Mast, Plain Pat, BoogzDaBeast, Benny Blanco, and Noah Goldstein, among others. The lyrical content includes references to mental health issues, which both members had suffered from and mentioned previously in their respective music. The cover art was designed by Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, and was based on the landscape series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai. Murakami's artwork received praise from critics, with it being noted for its striking appearance.

The album was the third of five albums produced by West in Jackson Hole as a part of the "Wyoming Sessions", each being released weekly in the summer of 2018. Kids See Ghosts succeeded the release of Pusha T's Daytona and West's Ye, and preceded the release of Nas' Nasir and Teyana Taylor's K.T.S.E. The album received widespread acclaim, with a number of music critics pointing out the chemistry of West and Cudi in praise. It was named as one of the best albums of 2018 by multiple publications, including Complex, NME, and Slant Magazine.

On the Billboard 200, Kids See Ghosts debuted at number two, standing as West's tenth top-five album and Cudi's sixth top five album in the United States. The album also attained top five positions in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Norway. A number of the tracks charted in various countries, including "Reborn" and "4th Dimension".

Background and recording[edit]

Kid Cudi (left) and Kanye West (right), the two members of Kids See Ghosts
Cudi and West (pictured left and right, respectively) had collaborated on various occasions before releasing a joint album.

On February 14, 2016, West released his seventh album The Life of Pablo with the tracks "Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1" and "Waves" featuring vocals by Cudi.[1] Ten days after releasing his album, West tweeted on February 24, 2016, that an album titled Turbo Grafx 16 would be released that summer named after the video game console of the same name.[2] Later that month, West associate Ibn Jasper posted a photo on Instagram showing West and longtime collaborators Mike Dean, Plain Pat, and Cudi in a recording studio working on the album.[3]

West and Cudi had a brief falling out, with Cudi criticizing Drake and West for the usage of ghostwriters in September 2016, tweeting: "These niggas don't give a fuck about me. And they ain't fuckin' with me… I've been loyal to those who haven't been to me and that ends now. Now I'm your threat".[4] West responded to Cudi's comments at the Tampa stop of his Saint Pablo Tour, stating "I birthed you... me, [Plain] Pat, Don C. Don't ever mention 'Ye name, don't try to say who I can do songs with", adding that he felt "so hurt and disrespected" by Cudi's comments.[5] Days later, at a Houston show, West retracted his earlier comments, describing Cudi as his "brother" and "the most influential artist of the past ten years". Cudi, who had since admitted himself into a rehabilitation facility after battling with depression and suicidal thoughts following a Facebook post, thanked West, among other supporters, in a Facebook post, writing that "words can't really express how much it made my heart glow".[6] West himself was hospitalized for psychiatric observation in November 2016, with the Saint Pablo Tour being cancelled after bringing Cudi out to perform at his Sacramento show.[7][8][9]

In December, Cudi released his sixth album Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' to positive reviews, with West describing the album as "super inspiring".[6] In November 2017, and again in February 2018, West performed "Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1" live with Cudi.[10] In March 2018, Cudi was spotted recording with West in Wyoming.[11] West returned to Wyoming two months later for the recording of then-upcoming albums.[12] Outside of his own albums, West also executive produced, produced and provided guest vocals for all of the albums by other artists that came out of the "Wyoming Sessions", with him having announced taking on the role of producer beforehand.[13][14][15][16] American rapper Pusha T released his third studio album, Daytona on May 25, 2018, which stood as the first release of West's 2018 "Wyoming Sessions" recordings.[17][18] The recording sessions took place in West's ranch in Jackson Hole.[19] On June 1, a week before the release of Kids See Ghosts, West released his eighth studio album, Ye as the second album of the "Wyoming Sessions".[20][18] Cudi was featured on the tracks "Ghost Town", alongside PartyNextDoor and 070 Shake, and "No Mistakes", alongside Charlie Wilson and Caroline Shaw.[21] West revealed via Twitter that the former was originally slated to appear on Kids See Ghosts.[22] The album's mental health references include more about rising from the state than those on West's previous album Ye.[23] A sequel to "Ghost Town", entitled "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)", appears on Kids See Ghosts, which features vocals from American singer Ty Dolla Sign.[24] The release of the album on June 8 stood as the third album from the "Wyoming Sessions".[18] However, during an interview with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN of Player FM on June 12, 2018, Pusha T revealed that recording for it began in 2017.[25] He also explained that his verse on "Feel the Love" was recorded hours before the release of Kids See Ghosts due to being on a flight when first asked by West to head to the studio.[26] On June 15, 2018, a week after the album had been released, American rapper Nas released his eleventh studio album, Nasir as the fourth album of the "Wyoming Sessions".[27][28] American recording artist Teyana Taylor released her second studio album, K.T.S.E. on June 23, 2018 as the fifth and final album of the "Wyoming Sessions".[29][30]

Music and production[edit]

Jordan Bassett of NME characterized Kids See Ghosts as what "sees Kanye West and Kid Cudi catch up with the fragmented, fragile brand of hip-hop that they helped to shape".[36] Christopher Thiessen of PopMatters wrote of the album's musical style that "the tracks are brooding, somber, psychedelic, and often capitalize on minor chord usage".[37] Similarly, Dean Van Nguyen of The Guardian claimed for it to be "swarming with blistering electronics, laser-cut samples, psychedelic crescendos and edges as blurry as a half-remembered dream".[38] Van Nguyen also viewed the track "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)" as incorporating elements of rap rock, while Paul Bowler from uDiscoverMusic described Kids See Ghosts as being an "at-times woozy take on rap-rock", specifically noting "Fire" as being rap rock.[38][39] Sidney Madden of NPR wrote that "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)" is "reminiscent of fuzzed-out psychedelic rock of the '70s" and also noted the rock elements of "Cudi Montage".[40] The staff of Highsnobiety pointed out West "angrily scatting to the beat" on "Feel the Love".[41] "4th Dimension" and "Cudi Montage" both include posthumous samples of music, with the songs sampling the tracks "What Will Santa Claus Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin')" and "Burn the Rain" by American singers Louis Prima and Kurt Cobain, respectively.[42] Prima received credit as a featured artist on the song.[43] "Feel the Love" and "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)" include features from Pusha T and Ty Dolla Sign, respectively.[44] "Kids See Ghosts" features American rapper Mos Def, who is credited under his real name of Yasiin Bey.[45]

The album includes prominent production from Kids See Ghosts, though "Reborn" and "Cudi Montage" stand as the only tracks to not include production from West, while "Feel the Love" and "4th Dimension" are the only tracks that Cudi didn't contribute production to.[44] According to Bowler, the rock production was contributed by the duo along with American musicians Justin Vernon, Benny Blanco and André 3000, and Dean.[39] Dean, a frequent West collaborator, helped produce "Feel the Love", "4th Dimension", "Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2)", and "Cudi Montage".[46] Shawn Setaro of Complex wrote that due to Dean being "all over" Ye, "it makes sense he would be equally involved in Kids See Ghosts".[45] Plain Pat, another frequent collaborator with West, contributed production to "Feel the Love", "4th Dimension", "Reborn", and "Kids See Ghosts".[46][44] Mast helped produce "Feel the Love", "Fire" and "Reborn".[44] "Feel the Love", "4th Dimension" and "Kids See Ghosts" include production from American record producer Noah Goldstein.[44] Production was contributed to the tracks "Fire", "4th Dimension", and "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)" by American record producer BoogzDaBeast.[44] American record producer Dot da Genius, who had his first meeting with Cudi in 2007, spent time in Wyoming and co-produced the tracks "Reborn" and "Cudi Montage" for Kids See Ghosts.[47] Vernon was partially responsible for the production of "Feel the Love" and "Kids See Ghosts".[44] The latter and "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)" include production from American record producer Andrew Dawson.[44] André 3000 stands among the veterans to have worked on the album, and helped produce "Fire".[48] Kids See Ghosts also includes production contributed by Francis and the Lights, Cashmere Cat, Andy C, Russel "Love" Crews, and Jeff Bhasker.[44]

Themes and lyrics[edit]

Lyrically, Kids See Ghosts includes references to mental illness throughout, which West had been struggling with for ten years before its release.[41] Ben Carter of Central Sauce reported that 62.15% of the lyrics reference the theme.[23] "Freee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)" and "Reborn" are related to the recovery from mental illness.[41] The album includes the duo paying references to the demons that they are haunted by, with the theme of demons mostly being present in "Reborn" and "Kids See Ghosts".[49] Kids See Ghosts acknowledge their past successes, as well as failures.[50] Pop culture and historical references are frequent throughout Kids See Ghosts, mostly in "4th Dimension".[50]

The album's opener, "Feel the Love", includes a rap verse from Pusha T while West contributes ad-libs to the track and states one line before Cudi's chorus about being able to "feel the love".[49] The staff of Highsnobiety claimed that the position of "Fire" after the track "reminds one of the ping-pong nature of mental illness — sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down", with "Fire" lyrically seeing Kids See Ghosts take "a softer approach to diagnosing the self, exposing the failures of the aforementioned duo".[41] Within "4th Dimension", Kids See Ghosts prevent being burdened by their feelings by putting forward the random in the form of the duo's current thoughts; this is an example of bipolar disorder.[41] West shows that he is numb to criticism on "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)", which is about the mind becoming free of any delays.[41] The song interpolates lyrics from the original "Ghost Town".[22] "Reborn" is linked to getting past mental lows that inspire depression and usage of drugs.[41] The throws of paranoia are deeply addressed on "Kids See Ghosts".[41] In contrast to the song's lyrical content, "Cudi Montage" sees Cudi quip about the journey to his mind's reconstruction and West reference an environment's cycle of violence.[41] The track was described by the staff of Highsnobiety as closing out Kids See Ghosts "on a whimper, purposefully, to dictate the cyclical nature of mental illness".[41]

Release and promotion[edit]

In late 2017, it was rumoured that West and Cudi were working on a collaborative album, reportedly titled Everybody Wins.[51][52][53][54] On April 19, 2018, West announced via Twitter that a collaborative album with Cudi was set to be released in June.[55] He followed the tweet revealing the album's title, which also serves as the name of the duo, Kids See Ghosts.[56] On April 25, West revealed the album was scheduled to be accompanied by a short film during a Twitter spree, slated to be directed by Dexter Navy, who had collaborated with West in the past on the music video for "Flashing Lights" (2007).[57][58] West revealed the track list via Twitter on June 2, which included a track called "Devil's Watchin" that was ultimately not released on the album.[59][34] The spot of fourth track was blank at the time after "Ghost Town" had been removed and "Extasy" had a possibility of being released from the position after not appearing on Ye.[59] The latter was later released under the title of "XTCY" on August 11, 2018.[60] "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)" ultimately took up the spot of fourth track.[34] On June 8, 2018, Kids See Ghosts was released for digital download and streaming by GOOD Music, distributed by Def Jam Recordings, as Kids See Ghosts' eponymous debut studio album.[61] The digital release of the album faced technical difficulties, with six songs on the album initially being incorrectly titled and ordered on streaming services; "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)" was the only one to not be mislabeled.[62] The album was released as a CD through the labels on August 3, 2018 in France, while later released as a CD in various other countries on September 28.[63][64] During an interview with Complex on September 9, 2019, it was revealed by Cudi that a follow up to Kids See Ghosts will be released in the future by the duo.[65]

On June 5, 2018, Cudi's manager Dennis Cummings announced a listening party for Kids See Ghosts in Los Angeles via Twitter, which was to be conducted a day prior to release.[66] The live stream of the album's listening party was intended to take place through the WAV app at 11 pm EST, but after a series of unexplained delays and much fan frustration, the live stream did not start until 1:50 am EST on June 8.[67][68] It was unknown whether the live stream being delayed was because of a technical issue or Kids See Ghosts showing up late.[68] The listening party was held by a bonfire at a secret location in Southern California, with Kids See Ghosts showcasing their merchandise at the party.[69] Attendees of the listening party included the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Quentin Miller of American hip hop duo WDNG Crshrs, American rapper and singer Desiigner, and Trinidadian-American rapper Trinidad James.[69] At the time of the party, Dean shared a video of him and others listening to music from Kids See Ghosts.[70] No music videos were released for the album or Ye.[71] Kids See Ghosts made their live debut at the 2018 Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, performing for 45 minutes inside a rectangular glass box that was floating above the stage.[72] The duo delivered a full performance of Kids See Ghosts, performing the tracks in the order they were released on the album, and also performed a number of past collaborations, including "Welcome to Heartbreak" and "Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1".[72][34] West forgot several lyrics from his verses on "Reborn" and "Cudi Montage".[73] During the first instalment of West's weekly gospel event "Sunday Service" on January 6, 2019, the choir performed "Reborn".[74] Cudi was present during the performance, joining West in leading the gospel choir.[75] Kids See Ghosts performed live together at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, with the duo beginning their performance with the album's opener "Feel the Love".[76] They also delivered performances of "Reborn", "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)", "Ghost Town", and "Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1" at the festival.[77]

Artwork and title[edit]

The cover art for Kids See Ghosts (album).
Takashi Murakami's full artwork for the album features inverted kanji characters that translate to "chaos".

In August 2017, West and Cudi visited Japanese artist Takashi Murakami's studio in Tokyo, with Murakami sharing images of the three via Instagram.[51] West had previously collaborated with Murakami for the artwork of his third studio album Graduation (2007) and the animated music video for its opening track, "Good Morning".[78]

On April 22, 2018, West shared sketches by Murakami related to the album, confirming the title to be Kids See Ghosts.[79] On the sketches, Murakami noted that West had brought forward the idea of portraying an anthropomorphized bear and fox, to reflect West and Cudi respectively. Cudi initially suggested that his character be represented by a dog, however upon seeing an early sketch, West insisted that Cudi was better represented by a fox.[52] West tweeted out "Murakami vibes" in reference to the art concepts.[80]

Cudi unveiled Murakami's finished artwork for the album on June 6.[80] The inverted Kanji characters of the artwork translate to "chaos".[81] Murakami explained that Katsushika Hokusai's Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji was the basis of the artwork's background image of Mount Fuji.[82] The work has also been compared to Murakami's own 2001 piece Manji Fuji, with similarities including the Mount Fuji backdrop, bending trees and Murakami's signature "Oval" characters.[81] With the exception of the "Oval" characters being minimized and placed further to the left, the elements taken from Manji Fuji didn't witness any changes in position.[81]

Writing for i-D, Hannah Ongley claimed that West seems to have a "go big or fuck it" approach to the artwork for his albums and viewed the Kids See Ghosts artwork as an example of West going big.[83] Bowler called the artwork an "eye-catching cover" that increases the attractiveness of Kids See Ghosts.[39] The work was viewed by Karlie Powell of Your EDM as being "quite literally a work of art", though he wrote that it looks both amazing and creepy.[84] Rob Tucker from The Edge described the artwork as spooky and psychedelic.[85]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?8.1/10[86]
Metacritic84/100[87]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[34]
The A.V. ClubB[32]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[31]
Exclaim!9/10[88]
The Guardian4/5 stars[38]
NME4/5 stars[36]
Pitchfork7.6/10[33]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[35]
Vice (Expert Witness)A−[89]
XXL4/5[90]

Kids See Ghosts was met with widespread acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 84, based on 18 reviews.[87] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave Kids See Ghosts 8.1 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[86]

In a positive review, Van Nguyen referred to the album as "a psychedelic return to godlike power", commending Cudi's performance and the chemistry of the artists, as well as the lyricism: "The brevity is effective as Kanye and Cudi stack ideas on top of ideas, packing the 23 minutes with as much creativity as possible. The chemistry is that of two old friends who no longer have to second-guess each other's instincts", concluding that the album reasserts West "as a fun, thrilling rap music-maker that tests the genre's boundaries".[38] Jayson Greene of Pitchfork wrote that "the songs are the most intriguing ones to emerge from this Wyoming project thus far". He compared Kids See Ghosts positively to West's preceding album Ye, writing that "a lot of the energy that Ye seemed to be gasping for fills the lungs of this project, and it's humbling to consider how much this material might have enlivened West's own album", praising the "soul and depth" of Cudi's contributions to the album, and "the psychic bond" between the two artists, which "yields a spacious and melancholy album about brokenness". He concluded that Kids See Ghosts was "the first time in years" that "Kanye sounds at peace".[33]

In a highly positive review, Russell Stone of Highsnobiety praised Cudi's performance for "fueling the album's immaculate feel" and "sounding the most empowered you've ever heard him", while complimenting West's "mind-bending" production and focused subject matter, in contrast to his lyricism on Ye.[91] Bassett concluded that Kids See Ghosts "sounds, suitably, ghostly and supernatural – a brief glimpse into another world" and is "the sound of two artists looking back over the vast distance they've travelled so far".[36] For The A.V. Club, Marty Sartini Garner praised Cudi's contributions as "without qualification, the spiritual and artistic backbone of Kids See Ghosts, the source of its truest artistic risks", writing that he "lifts Kanye up", who "allows Cudi to take him further than he's been willing to go by himself". He further stated that the album "marks [Cudi]'s true return only a year and a half after he checked himself into rehab to fight depression and suicidal ideation, and taking the time out to work on himself seems to have done him wonders".[32] Chuck Arnold of Entertainment Weekly wrote that the album "had a lot going against it before it dropped from the Wyoming wilderness", but that the album's "hope, healing, and haunting music in the face of darkness" causes these concerns to "go out the window", and that West and Cudi "craft a work that easily surpasses Ye both musically and emotionally". He concluded that the album "leaves you greedy for more … But hopefully Kanye and Cudi have rid themselves of enough ghosts to bust out more of this kind of artistry".[31] Writing for Rolling Stone, Christopher R. Weingarten wrote that the album is "nowhere near as incisive, infectious or rewarding as their best work", but is "still an important step forward into an era of big moods and short attention spans".[35]

Aaron Williams of Uproxx wrote that "Kids See Ghosts winds up having more replay value than either of the paired artists prior efforts. It's more bold and less irritating than Ye's trollish, wounded affect, and less long-winded and more forceful than Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin's", while also praising the duo's chemistry: "The pairing of Kid Cudi with Kanye West for a full project highlights their strongest ideas and mitigates the weakest, sounding exactly like you'd hope for it to have sounded around 2009", with Williams claiming for the year to be the creative prime of both the artists.[92] For Vulture, Craig Jenkins referred to the album as a "win" that both artists "badly needed", writing: "Kids See Ghosts is the succulent fruit of a collaboration that stretches back a decade; it's the guitar album Cudi has tried and failed at twice; and it's the longest we've heard Kanye speak this year without saying anything awful or otherwise disappointing".[93] Eric Diep of Billboard complimented the duo's chemistry, stating that Kids See Ghosts will "certainly be respected for how the songs aren't a collection of scattered ideas, but full thoughts with real messages of finding the light in the darkness".[94] In reference to asking himself questions related to losing faith in West after Ye, Eoin Donnelly of The Line of Best Fit called Kids See Ghosts "an album to send your demons packing", claiming that it will get rid of one's worst fears about the artistic decline of West, and also complimented Cudi's work on the album.[95]

Accolades[edit]

Kids See Ghosts appeared on year-end best album lists for 2018 by multiple publications. The album's best achievement was ranking at number two on Pitchfork Readers' Poll: Top 50 Albums of 2018.[96] On others polls conducted by Pitchfork for that year, Kids See Ghosts ranked as the third most underrated and seventh most overrated album respectively, while "Kids See Ghosts" ranked at number 14 on the top 50 songs list.[96] The album also appeared within the top five of year-end lists compiled by three other publications. Slant Magazine listed Kids See Ghosts as the third best album of 2018, with the staff describing it as where Kids See Ghosts "alternate between haunted-house trappings and candidly confronting their respective demons".[97] The album was named the year's fourth best by 411Mania, who wrote that "West no doubt succumbs to Cudi's sonic LSD, but he's still peaking from the cocaine" and pointed out West's "perfectionist approach to production".[98] Joe also placed Kids See Ghosts at number four on their list of 2018's best albums, writing that it is where the duo "reconnect with a brave and brilliant treatise on mental health trauma, turning their pain into power and moving forward together".[99]

Year-end lists
Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
411Mania The Top 100 Albums of 2018
4
AllHipHop AllHipHop's 15 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2018
10
Billboard Billboard's 50 Best Albums of 2018
30
Capital XTRA 20 Best Albums of 2018
14
Clash Clash Albums of the Year 2018
21
Complex The Best Albums of 2018
14
Dummy The 25 Best Albums of 2018
17
The Edge Top Albums of 2018
6
Exclaim! Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums of 2018
4
HotNewHipHop Top 30 Hottest Hip-Hop Albums of 2018
16
Joe The 20 Best Albums of 2018
4
The Line of Best Fit The Best Albums of 2018
27
The New York Times The 28 Best Albums of 2018 (Jon Caramanica's List)
7
The New Zealand Herald Top 20 Albums of 2018
12
NME NME's Albums of the Year 2018
15
Noisey The 100 Best Albums of 2018
51
Pitchfork Pitchfork Readers' Poll: Top 50 Albums of 2018
2
PopMatters The 10 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2018
5
Rolling Stone 30 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2018
16
Slant Magazine The 25 Best Albums of 2018
3
The Village Voice Pazz & Jop: The Top 100 Albums of 2018
72

Commercial performance[edit]

Unlike Ye, Kids See Ghosts failed to give West a chart topper on the US Billboard 200, with the album debuting at number two on the chart, being blocked from the top spot by Dave Matthews Band's ninth studio album Come Tomorrow (2018), and selling 142,000 album-equivalent units, of which 79,000 were pure album sales, and being streamed over 90 million times.[116][117] Despite this, Kids See Ghosts stood as West's tenth top-five album and Cudi's sixth top-five album in the country.[116] The sales surpassed the first week projections of 100,000 to 110,000 album-equivalent units and 55,000 to 60,000 pure album sales, though a debut at number two had been predicted.[118][119] On the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, the album entered at number one.[117] The next week, it exited the top ten of the Billboard 200, descending 12 places to number 14 on the chart, though fell nine places to number ten on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[120] 31,000 album-equivalent units were sold that week, with 8,000 of the units being pure album sales, and 34,531,000 streams were counted.[120] On the year-end US charts for 2018, Kids See Ghosts ranked as the 140th most popular album on the Billboard 200 and ranked at number 58 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[121][122]

The album also peaked at number two on the Irish Albums Chart, tying with Graduation and Late Registration (2005) for West's second highest charting albums on the chart, which have only been outperformed by Ye.[123] On the Canadian Albums Chart, Kids See Ghosts entered at number three, standing as the second highest debut of the week one place behind Come Tomorrow by Dave Matthews Band at number two.[124] Kids See Ghosts also peaked at number three on the New Zealand Albums Chart and Norwegian Albums Chart.[125] It reached number four on the ARIA Albums Chart and remained on the chart for four weeks.[125] A top five position was also attained by the album in the Netherlands, with it peaking at number five on Dutch Album Top 100.[125] The album ranked at number 13 on the midweek sales chart of albums in the United Kingdom for the week of its release, though ultimately debuted six places higher at number seven on the UK Albums Chart.[126][127] This was a position five places lower than Ye peaking at number two gave West on the chart earlier in 2018.[128]

Kids See Ghosts was less successful in the Czech Republic, reaching number 11 on the Czech Albums Chart.[129] On the Swiss Albums Chart, the album peaked at number 12 and attained a similar position of number 13 on the Swedish Albums Chart.[125] It also achieved a top 15 position in Belgium, reaching number 14 on the Belgian Flanders Albums Chart.[125] Kids See Ghosts charted at number 15 on the Ö3 Austria Top 40 Longplay (Albums) and Finnish Top 50 Albums charts respectively.[125] In Germany, the album peaked at number 33 on the Top 100 Albums chart.[125] It failed to enter the top 40 in Italy, reaching number 42 on the FIMI Albums Chart.[130] Kids See Ghosts performed worst in Scotland, debuting at number 49 on the Scottish Albums Chart.[131]

All of the seven tracks from Kids See Ghosts debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, with "Reborn" having the highest debut by charting at number 39 on the chart; West had previously achieved this feat with Ye.[132] The song stood as the only track from the album to reach the top 40 of the Hot 100.[132] It was ultimately certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of 500,000 units in the United States on January 4, 2019.[133] All the tracks also entered the ARIA Singles Chart, Canadian Hot 100 and Irish Singles Chart, with "Reborn" also charting the highest in Ireland.[134][135][123] The song charted on the UK Singles Chart along with "Feel the Love" and "4th Dimension", with all three of the tracks attaining top 50 positions.[136]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from liner notes.[44]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Feel the Love" (featuring Pusha T)2:45
2."Fire"
2:21
3."4th Dimension" (featuring Louis Prima)
2:33
4."Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)" (featuring Ty Dolla Sign)
3:27
5."Reborn"
5:25
6."Kids See Ghosts" (featuring Yasiin Bey)
  • West
  • Kid Cudi
  • Plain Pat
  • Dawson[b]
  • Vernon[b]
  • Goldstein[b]
4:05
7."Cudi Montage"
  • Kid Cudi
  • Dot da Genius
  • Dean[a]
3:17
Total length:23:53

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies an additional programmer

Sample credits

  • "Fire" contains a sample of "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!", written and performed by Jerry "Napoleon XIV" Samuels.
  • "4th Dimension" contains samples of "What Will Santa Claus Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin')", written and performed by Louis Prima; and an uncredited sample of "Someday", written and performed by Shirley Ann Lee.[22]
  • "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)" contains samples of "Stark", written and performed by Corin "Mr. Chop" Littler; an uncredited sample of a speech from Marcus Garvey; and portions of the previous "Ghost Town".[22]
  • "Cudi Montage" contains samples of "Burn the Rain", written and performed by Kurt Cobain.

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from liner notes.[44]

Production

  • Nico Aglietti – engineering (track 4)
  • Thomas Cullison – engineering (track 5)
  • Andrew Dawson – engineering (tracks 1, 4–6), mixing (tracks 1, 5)
  • Mike Dean – co-executive producer, mixing, mastering
  • Zack Djurich – engineering, acoustic guitar (track 4)
  • Noah Goldstein – co-executive producer, engineering (tracks 1–3, 5–7)
  • Jess Jackson – mixing
  • Tom Kahre – engineering (track 1)
  • Kid Cudi – executive producer
  • Mike Malchicoff – engineering
  • William J. Sullivan – engineering
  • Sean Solymar – mix assistance
  • Kanye West – executive producer

Design

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Various June 8, 2018 [61]
France August 3, 2018 CD [63]
Various September 28, 2018 [64]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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