Ever since he produced Tyga's hit “Rack City” in 2011, DJ Mustard has been a force to be reckoned with in the world of Hip Hop production. It's his signature uptempo, minimalist style that manages to bring a freshness to the rap scene, which has often been copied by other producers throughout the years. Many fans will agree that his best work has been with his usual associated rappers, which include Y.G., Ty Dolla Sign and Nipsey Hussle, and there are plenty of appearances from them plus other artists on Cold Summer. So DJ Mustard's album go the extra mile to show that he deserves a top spot when it comes to both production and bringing in artists for the hits, or is it just business as usual?
The album starts off with artists that are frequent collaborators of DJ Mustard. Those familiar with his style will be welcome to the usual combination of hard hitting drums that go along with uptempo synths and rhythm that make it almost impossible to sit still while listening. Whether it's gangsta rap or a club anthem, this recipe makes for a track that can capture your attention. When listening to the first few tracks, it becomes apparent that these frequent collaborations not only come from chemistry, but the fact that the production style of DJ Mustard and the style of these artists often compliment each other perfectly. Some of the stronger tracks on Cold Summer include “Ridin' Around” with Nipsey Hussle & RJ, the club anthem “Want Her” which features Quavo and YG, and “Lil Baby” by Ty Dolla Sign. The album also features Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and Young Jeezy as guests, although the younger artists and frequent collaborators of DJ Mustard manage to steal the show by meshing so well with the West Coast production style.
While Cold Summer does feature great production from DJ Mustard, it does fail to show the range and versatility that DJ Mustard has shown in the past. Listening to the album multiple times will make the tracks seem more and more familiar, with fans noticing that some of the tracks on the album sound too similar to each other, but also remind you of songs that DJ Mustard has produced in the past. While this may be right up the ally of die hard fans of his production style, this can cause the album to become repetitive. Also, the lack of diversity and fact that most songs seem to be made specifically for the club makes you long to hear more R&B and Pop production as well as collaborations from familiar artists that worked with DJ Mustard in these respective genres in the past. “10,000 Hours” with Ella Mai is a great R&B joint, but the album does has room for more tracks with a similar vibe.
Overall, fans of the new school West Coast styles and DJ Mustard's production will be more than happy with Cold Summer. However, multiple plays of the full album can become repetitive, with an exception of a select few tracks. While it features enough club anthems to keep you hyped for a night out, the album does little showcase the range of DJ Mustard's range within the Hip Hop and R&B genre. Cold Summer does complete the goal of showing that DJ Mustard and his unique production style is here to stay, but doesn't fully prove why everyone needs to get on board.