Kid Cudi Releases Man On The Moon, Vol II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager
I can’t get into Kid Cudi. It might be because his publicist once said he didn’t want an interview with me because it was for DrJays.com (not cool enough, I suppose). It could also be the urban hipster party I was dragged to once here in New York, where I lamented how all the guys were sad replicas of Cudi and then, lo and behold, the man himself showed up a couple hours later, disheveled and out of it.
I understand “Cudder” has a distinct fan base who’ve been eagerly anticipating his sophomore album releasing today, Man On The Moon, Vol II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager. My curiosity to hear his new music was a little piqued after his recent, revealing interview with Complex, where he discussed cocaine abuse, the birth of his first daughter Vada and labeled himself a “wizard” compared to “simple-ass rapper” Wale. I’ve listened to the set over the past couple of days and it’s intense, to say the least. Tracks like “Erase Me” are catchy (although, for some reason, Kanye West sounds uncomfortable here) and “Scott Mescudi vs. The World” is a funky standout (because I’m a Cee-Lo fan, perhaps). But I just…I don’t know. I can’t deal with a grown man crying about his ills song after song, descending into a world of self-indulgence, always on the brink of a breakdown. In the end, his depression is just too depressing.
Here are snippets from reviews of The Legend Of Mr. Rager:
From The New York Times:
Kid Cudi starts out Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager, his second official album, calling himself “a winner.” He’s a hip-hop star traveling the “world I’m ruling,” with fame, women and drugs for the asking. It’s a steep downward spiral from there. A story told in five acts—like his previous album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day—the album traces a descent into addiction, solitude, paranoia and insanity, ending with Kid Cudi’s chant-singing that he’s “trapped in my mind, and I know it’s crazy.”
In its utter self-absorption, the album teeters between fascinating and numbing; fast-forwarding helps at times. Kid Cudi puts his real name, Scott Mescudi, into lyrics and a song title, claiming to be truthful. Pose or not, this is as close to the brink as he needs to get.
From The Observer:
Mescudi harbors a misconception common among artists desperate for innovation: He doesn’t need to try as hard as he thinks he does to be inventive. Originality flows from him naturally and a little more effort toward the radio and away from psychotic exploration would improve his image among most listeners while simultaneously unaffecting his image in the art world.
Ultimately, not only Cudi fans have learned to love his dark side, but also any mildly interested indie dabbler will enjoy this album. Cudi’s work tastes like wine: Time will improve it greatly.
Now, however, Cudi still stands a lone silhouette on the horizon of musical innovation. He may not be headed in the perfect direction, but he doesn’t fear the future.