Featuring: Pusha T, CyHi da Prynce, Big Sean & J. Cole

This is what I’ve been waiting for! “Looking For Trouble,” the latest fix from Kanye West for us GOOD Friday fiends, is why I have kept refreshing Twitter and downloading. Some people got excited about last week’s track, “The Joy,” I think, because of the long drought of truly good material since the stunning “Christian Dior Denim Flow.” “The Joy” was legitimately a solid track, albeit corrupted by the out of control ego of producer Pete Rock and a lack of discipline on behalf of Rock and West.
“Looking for Trouble” is somewhere between Puff Daddy’s straight-ahead, rock-riffage beat (thinking of any number of B.I.G’s anthemic bangers), and last week’s Pete Rock silky, soul loops. It’s the perfect platform for what feels like a freestyle cypher. Both young, newly crowned Ye protégé’s, CyHi da Prynce and Big Sean, are burning up the track. CyHi’s gravely drawl is exceptional and sounds confident tripping all over his third GOOD Friday cut–his first good one though.  Prynce definitely has some room for growth, you can hear him take all his cues from the beat, but his construction and flow added to his intoxicating voice are a pretty damn fine place to start.
Big Sean is the real surprise here. Like CyHi, he’s also taking on his third GOOD Friday track, and he’s also giving us another entirely different flow. He came out the gate with his giggling, R-rated sneer on “Good Friday,” just a couple weeks ago, he showed us his smooth, contemplative self on “Don’t Look Down,” and now, all of a sudden, Sean has a bit of Twizta’s frenetic speed to flex. When the beat drops out and a slinky guitar solo is fired off over a swell of strings, Sean also shows off some real, drawer-dropping swagger. This young, Detroit MC is looking like my new rapper to watch. And for maybe the first time in the whole of Yeezy’s Tweeted mix tape experiment, Pusha T has the weakest verse.
Oh yeah, and then there’s everyone’s favorite new MC, J. Cole. Jay-Z’s first signee Roc Nation, Cole has a solid confident flow but he’s still developing a personality. There’s a reason he’s making waves, but if he wants to be in a league with his boss, he has to get past his sharp, fundamental skills and show us that x-factor. Regardless, this bodes well for him, and everyone else on this cut. If you only paid attention to Kanye’s guests on this track for the next few years, I’d imagine you’d be sitting on some pretty killer rap albums.

Updated Rankings#:

1. “Christian Dior Denim Flow” (featuring: Pusha T, John Legend, Lloyd Banks, Kid Cudi & Ryan Leslie)
2. “Good Friday” (featuring: Common, Pusha T, Big Sean, Kid Cudi & Charlie Wilson)
3. “See Me Now” (featuring: Beyonce & Charlie Wilson)*
4. “Power”*
5. “Looking for Trouble” (featuring: Pusha T, CyHi da Prynce, Big Sean & J. Cole)
6. “Power (Remix)” (featuring: Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz)
7. “Runaway” (featuring: Pusha T)
8. “Monster” (featuring: Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj)
9. “The Joy” (featuring: Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Curtis Mayfield, Charlie Wilson & Kid Cudi)
10. “Don’t Look Down (The Phoenix Story)” (featuring: Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco & Big Sean)
11. “Lord, Lord, Lord” (featuring: Mos Def, Raekwon, Swizz Beatz & Charlie Wilson)
12. “So Appalled” (featuring: Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, Pusha T, RZA & Cyhi the Prynce)
13. “Take One For The Team” (featuring: Pusha T, CyHi da Prynce & Keli Hilton)
14. “Don’t Stop” – Child Rebel Soldier
15. “Devil in a New Dress”

*Released prior to the GOOD Friday series, included because of the close proximity to the beginning of series

#As I said in a previous post, I won’t include “Runaway Love (Remix)” on the rankings because it’s so bad that it’s not fair to the other even middling tracks Kanye’s released lately.