Celebrate 6 Years of 'Cruel Summer' With This Look at How the Cover Art Came Together

Believe it or not, 'Cruel Summer' turned six years young on Sept. 14. Though we still don't have a proper sequel to the G.O.O.D. Music comp, we do have this new video showing how the cover art came together.

Though it pains me to admit it, this month marks the passing of six years since the release of the G.O.O.D. Music comp Cruel Summer. In the years since its "Mercy"-boosted dominance, we've heard endless chatter about a sequel whilst coming to terms with the fact that time doesn't exist and six years is just another arbitrary measurement meant to make us feel more important than we actually are, but hey. Let's celebrate the album that gave us "Don't Like" and ignore all that.

View this video on YouTube


To mark that sixth year distinction, designer Joe Perez has shared a short video showing the extensive behind-the-scenes process that ultimately resulted in the comp's ubiquitously copied cover art. Though we're all super familiar with the final, it's compelling to note that a grand total of 325 designs entered the equation at some point. Catch the video above, then revisit the cover art credits below:

  • Packaging, design, and concept by DONDA
  • Creative direction for DONDA by Kanye West and Virgil Abloh
  • Art direction for DONDA by Guido Callarelli
  • Graphic design for DONDA by Joe Perez

The 12-track comp officially dropped way back on Sept. 14, 2012 and also featured notable G.O.O.D. entries like "Clique," "New God Flow," "The One," and the supremely underrated Kanye West cut "Cold." The latter was formally titled "Theraflu" and features both DJ Khaled and DJ Pharris. Most importantly, however, it features this line:

Don't talk about style 'cause I embarrass you
Shut the fuck up when you talk to me before I embarrass you

Next for West, seemingly, is a quasi-sequel to Yeezus and an extension of his college trilogy with the Chance the Rapper-assisted Good Ass Job.

Latest in Style