There’s plenty of reasons to like [lastfm]Kid Cudi[/lastfm] that have nothing to do with music: he’s the star of a hit cable show, he’s artistic and most of all he seems like the sort of guy you want to approach you in a bar and take you on a whirlwind romance filled with kisses, giggles and midnight dips in rooftop pools.
Cudi began his career splicing and dicing mix-tapes from his bedroom, slowly clawing his way to the top.
But, somewhere in between that time and before writing the sequel to his freshmen effort, the Cleveland rapper found himself going through a dark phase with drugs, violence, and a arrest–a side of him he talks about in his latest effort (released on November 9), Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager.
But really, he a man that’s more than a facade, good looks and great style. He’s a hip-hop legend in the making and [lastfm]Kanye West[/lastfm]’s very own protege, co-writing tracks for West’s 2009 album 8o8s & Heartbreak.
If that doesn’t legitimize him as an artist, we don’t know what will. Perhaps, it’s the fact that his debut album Man On The Moon: The End Of Day was both a critical and commercial success and a favorite at AMP Radio, in addition to being nominated for three GRAMMY awards.
For those approaching Man On The Moon II with expectations (no “Day N’ Night” pop hits on this album), some of you will be surprised and will enjoy the results found in the 17-track rap-diary introducing “Mr. Rager,” Cudi’s dark side who was forced to deal with the realities of fame.
Guest rappers [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Snoop Dogg[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Cage[/lastfm]plus producers like [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kanye West[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Neptunes[/lastfm], and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ratatat [/lastfm] all help Cudi deliver the Rager’s hip-hop misery.
From the opening track “Scott Mescudi vs. the World” featuring [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Cee-Lo[/lastfm]’s setting up the story with opening line, “What up?/How’s everyone doing?/You’re now in a world I’m ruining” to hip-hop numbers like “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young” which tells the story of picking up bad habits from his dad, “I guess the fact my father smoked and drink /made a young n-gga destiny to do the exact same,” Kid Cudi creates sturdy music that will resonate with thousands–maybe by now millions–of fans.
At times it’s tinged with humor (listen to songs “Ashin Kusher,” and “Marijuana”) with the majority of the album being deeply human, speaking honestly and touching the heart with songs like “The End” featuring rhymes from [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]GLC[/lastfm]and in “These Worries” featuring [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Mary J. Blige[/lastfm].
While it’s not the most upbeat record we all probably wanted to hear from the hitmaker, Man On The Moon II is a cohesive collection of tunes that shows the exponential growth of the emcee as a person and as an artist.
If your curious about the album, you can listen to practically every track off the album on Kid Cudi’s YouTube channel here. But below are some of my favorites:
Label: G.O.O.D/Universal Motown