Kid Cudi’s final piece of the Man On The Moon trilogy is the best work he’s released in years
Kid Cudi is back with one of his most solid solo albums in four years, and closes out the trilogy that is Man On The Moon on a strong note.
The production on his album is reminiscent of the first two Man On The Moon entries while seeing Cudi adjust to the sound of the modern rap scene. Indeed, we can see Cudi hopping on more contemporary beats, especially in the first leg of the record, specifically on songs like “Tequila Shots” and “Damaged.” He even raps over a drill type beat in the song “Show Out,” featuring the late Pop Smoke and British rapper Skepta, who delivers a high energy verse.
Although Cudi hops on trendier sounds, he sticks to his roots and his signature sound with some distorted vocals on a couple of tracks like “The Void” and “Sept. 16.” He also raps on some atmospheric beats that fit well the sound of the entire trilogy.
Lyrically, the usual themes of substance abuse, trying to find himself and battling his inner demons come up on the record, but this time there is more hope and light than on other albums; as shown on the track “Lovin’ Me,” where Cudi says lyrics like “Our pasts don’t matter, babe, I’m much stronger/And fly much farther, soar overseas/Finally see, I’ll keep on climbing/Ridin’ the lightning and I am sure,” meaning that despite his hard and difficult past, he now sees the light and feels like he could accomplish anything. This song features indie star Phoebe Bridgers and is a beautiful song which finds Cudi and Bridgers on the path of self-love and acceptance. The song also has an infectious beat and the best chorus of the album.
This album sees Cudi rapping more than on the previous two Man On The Moon entries while still keeping his classic singing hooks and legendary humming.
He also shows that he is capable of using different flows especially on tracks like “Heaven On Earth” and “She Knows This,” which see Cudi rapping about partying with a girl and living a hell of a life. A smooth beat switch that accelerates the tempo happens in the middle of the song and it really intensifies the party vibes of the song to a point where I was left wondering if Cudi lost control of himself.
Ten years after the second Man On The Moon, Kid Cudi offers us this gorgeous experience with every song strengthening the message and aesthetic; resulting in one of his best albums to date.
Trial track: Lovin’ Me