KiD CuDi – Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr Rager | Album Review



Unearthing one of music’s most recent enigmas, in 2008 Kanye West introduced us to Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi who, without question, shares many of his mentor’s attributes. His Man on The Moon debut album trawled through the crevices of Cudi’s darkly humorous mind, inspired by a score which was a hybrid of new era Hip Pop and ’70s Bowie/Zappa/Pink Floyd.

Whilst creatively he pushes close to the limit, away from the studio he dances on the wrong side of controversy – gaining a reputation for altercations with fans, a documented drug issue and speaking candidly on other rappers. But the gravelly voiced singer, rapper – and now actor – returns with the sequel to his heralded debut.

Whilst many have often debated just how to define Cudi’s sound, what is most appeasing is that it sounds like nothing which is currently being pumped out. The opener “Scott Mescudi Vs The World” is a lofty, galactic number where Cee-Lo Green’s contributions add much life and serenity to Kid Cudi’s ‘back to the wall’ tale.

The first installment of Man On The Moon… was praised (and scorned) by many for its creativeness and … Mr Rager follows suit albeit not as daring as the previous effort. ‘REVOFEV’ is a catchy, sing-a-long pleaser in which Cudi’s hoarse vocals speak words to uplift those in the dumps. Although Cudi is great at providing hooks and depicting haunting tales of a drug induced life, what will remain a split decision is whether Cudi’s groanings in-between are embraced or knocked back.

MANIAC” and “Mojo So Dope” are examples where Mr Mescudi’s ‘unique’ methods are quite trying – but there are a number of moments when this signature styling work brilliantly to create the dark, emotive mood of this album. Bringing Mary J Blige on board pays off big time, with the two tracks she features on (“Don’t Play This Song” and “These Worries”) adding further depth and soul to Kid Cudi’s work.

Contrasting with the bleak sound of much of the album, “Erase Me” strikes it lucky with an upbeat winning combination of the Cleveland artist’s rockstar-like nonchalance towards a scorned ex and a welcome appearance from Kanye West. Amidst all of the cross genres which appear on The Legend of Mr Rager, Cudi provides more Hip Hop led tracks than on his first outing.

“Wild’n Cuz I’m Young” is a subtle yet effective vibing track whilst “Ashin’ Kusher” and “The End” (which features Chip Tha Ripper, GLC and vocalist Nicole Wray) are exceptional joints which will satisfy those who want something a little harder from Cudder.

If the first album was the big money, special effects filled blockbuster, this sequel is the sombre, more reflective installment. Easier to ‘get’ than its predecessor, Man on the Moon II opts for simpler productions and more guests and – even though his slurred signature vocals often grate the chiming sounds on the album – Cudi ropes in the listener with his personal take on private, morbid subjects; delivered with a charm which seasons the dark matter on offer.

Left of center music fans will welcome the album with open arms, whilst Hip Hoppers will filter through the experimental matter for something residing a little closer to home. Kid Cudi produces a satisfactory sophomore album which provides a little more insight into the tormented genius/madman from the G.O.O.D Music family.

–Henry Yanney

Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr Rager is out now. Purchase via iTunes UK / US, Amazon UK / US.

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