BEST NEW TRACKS: KACY HILL - CRUEL
If Kanye West endorses an artist, it's best to assume she'll be a star. He's mentored Big Sean, Desiigner, and now his latest project is a freckled former American Apparel model named Kacy Hill. West signed her back in 2014, shortly after she released her first song, "Experience," and the internet blew up. Three long years later and GOOD Music's golden touch, Hill has officially arrived with her debut album, Like A Woman.
KACY HILL - CRUEL
The entire compilation is pretty gripping. Its 40 minutes successfully bends the pop music genre and proves that feminism and sex appeal aren't mutually exclusive. Some featured works are uptempo and others are true ballads, but each demonstrate what can happen when you give a budding star support without stifling her space to explore what she's capable of. One of the truer ballads on the album is called "Cruel." Did we mention West executive produced the entire album? You can hear his influence throughout not only in the sense that the self-proclaimed perfectionist made each beat pristine, but in the fluctuations as well. West has a way of making juxtaposing styles work together. In "Cruel" you hear classic piano keys with a consistently thick thump that we could've easily heard under his own rap verses.
But West's influence with Oskar Sidow's production skills are just one reason this song works--the other being Hill's songwriting and special sinew. At We Are: The Guard, we believe her voice's abilities are showcased best here. As the title suggests, this isn't a peppy song. It's about the downfall of having an open heart. Her tone is mild and hushed as she opens with, "My heart is made of wine." She somehow manages to be fragile and strong at the same time, in the way that she is fearless about the trouble her affections bring upon her.