Cruel Summer, the first roster-wide release from Kanye West's G.O.O.D. label, is sure to be the event of... well, the event of some period of time. At one point we'd say "the event of the summer," but can that really apply anymore? First it was due in August. Then it was due in early September. Now MTV reports that it's been pushed back once again to September 18, to accommodate features by Yasiin Bey and others. That's all well and noble and smart--you wouldn't want any sample clearance snafus holding back your event album--but rather unfortunate given the album's title. Can something released on September 18 really have a summer theme? Let's check it out!
First, the official first days of (cruel) summer, according to the experts:
According to Bananarama: June 27.
According to Ace of Base July 7.
According to G.O.O.D.: August 7, then September 4, now September 13.
That's one to two fewer months of cruel summer! Somebody should alert the scientific and religious communities, as this is going to have severe implications for both climate change research and the problem of evil. But that's not what we're concerned with. We're concerned with Cruel Summer actually coming out during summer. So let's look it up. When does summer end and fall begin?
According to the "official" seasons, i.e. the autumnal equinox: September 22. So if you follow the letter of the law, Kanye is OK.
According to the Attic calendar, used by the ancient Greeks Kanye evoked on Cruel Summer's art: Sometime around October or November, meaning Kanye could delay this one or even two more months and still be OK.
Ah, but when was the last time you used the Attic calendar? Or thought the "official" start date of fall was the true start date? Let's look at some more realistic markers.
According to Chicago's public school system, Kanye's hometown: August 13
According to Chicago State University, which Kanye attended and where his mother taught: August 20
According to the changing of the leaves: Varies by state, but generally, this starts in early- to mid-September.
According to Labor Day, the traditional beginning of fall and the day Kanye West can no longer wear all white, as pictured in the photo and here: September 3.
According to the NFL: The season begins September 5.
According to Starbucks, reintroducing their pumpkin spice latte (because don't lie, at least some of you mark fall this way): Last year, September 6.
According to Kanye West himself, wearing his fall 2012 fashion line: This has already happened, as of July 30. In other words: even Kanye is acting like it's fall. Sorry, guys. Maybe you should stick to less time-restricted titles for album no. 2, like Faster Than Detox or Millennium or I'm Not Dead. Just a thought.