There’s been a lot of hand-wringing in the past few weeks over G.O.O.D. Music. This talk focuses on the small picture and the short-term—the internal arguments and lingering comparisons to G.O.O.D. Fridays—at the expense of any grander vision. Cut it out with that doom shit: G.O.O.D Music is just fine. In fact, the collective is primed for great things in the very near future.
Kid Cudi exchanging words with Kanye West raised a cloud of doubt over the crew. (They’ve since cleared things up.) But anyone using that as the spine of their argument against G.O.O.D. is forgetting that Cudi hasn’t been signed to G.O.O.D. since 2013. That isn’t to say we don’t care about the status of his relationship with Kanye. They’ve made great music together—especially recently—and the world would be worse off without their collaborative energy. And most importantly, we all want Cudi to get the help he wants and needs. But those conversations are only tangentially related, if at all, to the label.
Looking forward, Pusha T, who has been serving as president since Nov. 2015, has been making significant moves. Like signing Desiigner, among other young artists. After “Panda”—the label’s first No. 1 hit since John Legend’s 2013 smash, “All Of Me”—many wrote off the Brooklyn teenager as a one-note artist. But he’s proven he has the range with left-of-center bangers like “Timmy Turner” and “Zombie Walk”; it’s clear he has a future. (Also, his feature on Pusha’s song “Circles” is weird and perfect.) And this is all before he’s even put out his debut album.
Even its most unlikely signees show that G.O.O.D. is clearly a force to be reckoned with. Pusha received some (predictable) criticism when he signed Tyga, but the rapper’s career is already showing never-before-seen promise. His latest track, “Gucci Snakes,” is a certified heater whether you want to admit it or not. Tyga signed to G.O.O.D. and, within weeks, was releasing better music.
Big Sean is likely next up to drop an album from the camp, and if his two new tracks—"No More Interviews” and “Bounce Back”—are any indication, he’s making a serious bid for greatness. He clearly has a lot on his mind and sounds ready to deliver on his potential. And of course there's Pusha’s own solo album, which is shaping up to be a serious problem. Top that with Kanye West masterminding his own shit, and the excitement and anticipation around G.O.O.D. is undoubtedly there.
Another thing that shouldn't be forgotten: Cruel Winter may very well still happen. Given how Kanye works (read: unpredictably and suddenly) no one outside the camp can say with any certainty what’s coming next. Based on “Champions” alone, the quality that this current crop of signees is capable of is as high as ever.
In addition to its roster, G.O.O.D. has strong label affiliates on call. Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Common—maybe even Cudi. The label is in a serious position to thrive.
The current generation of G.O.O.D. Music may not project the same feeling of freewheeling team unity as it has in the past. There was a time when G.O.O.D. felt more like an artists’ collective than a business, with songs for days but little planning for the future past the next week’s track. What Pusha has done is to create a high functioning, successful label; a well-oiled machine.