In the Limelight: Kid Cudi Falls Flat with “The Man on the Moon: The End of the Day”

By: Danielle Canada

For everyone that’s been salivating to get their hands on Kid Cudi’s debut album, The Man on the Moon, the wait is over. Composed of 15 tracks featuring the likes of Chip The Ripper, Rat-A-Tat, and of course Kanye and Common, the album serves as a hipster Hip-Hop mash up of beautiful production with lyrics that don’t seem to really fit. Before even putting the album in, I immediately noticed my first issue. The introduction on the back of the album reads:

“From the guys that brought you 808’s and Heartbreak, Scott Mescudi stars in the long awaited tale inside the mind and true events in the life and times of Kid Cudi. Featuring and all star cast (Kanye West, Common, Ratatat, MGMT and introducing Chip The Ripper). Get ready to take a trip of the most anticipated musical adventures of our time….this is the story of the man on the moon.”

What’s the problem? For me it’s the Kanye references that push Ye’s image and sound in your head off the bat. The comparison proves unshakeable and from start to finish the project is incredibly reminiscent of 808s and Heartbreaks. In fact, “Sky Might Fall” sounds way too much like a bonus track from the album.
To his credit, “In My Dreams” serves its purpose as a fitting intro to the outer space feel. It’s odd and trippy and works well to set the tone.

In an attempt to tie everything together he enlists the help of his fellow G.O.O.D. music label mate, Common, who narrates the album. While it’s nice to hear Common’s voice on any and every occasion, his interludes to the 5 different “acts” inevitably fall flat. In other words, even with Common’s help the flow of the album still seems random and scattered. Take for example, Solo Dolo. It’s way too dark and he wails way too much for me.

The recurring theme throughout the album is….well hell, I don’t know what the theme is. The tracks deemed as “nightmares” sound just like every other song and the division of the album into acts seems pretty pointless. Another issue is the storyline which is hard to catch and muddy. Cudi starts off as the man on the moon and begins on a journey to do…just what? I’m not sure.

 

 

 

 

While murky, muddy and weird, it is in not without a few admirable high points in between. His teaming up with techno bands like Ratatat and MGMT are actually cool, really cool. “Pursuit of Happiness” collabs the hip-hop and techno together for a song that stays in your head all day whether you want it to or not.

“I’m on the pursuit of happiness nd I know/ everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold (hey)/ I’ll be fine once I get it (yeah)/ I’ll be gooooood/ I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know/ everything that shine ain’t always be gonna be gold (hey)/ I’ll be fine once I get it (yea)/ I’ll be goooood/ “

His two current singles, “Day N Nite” and “Make Her Say” were definitely well selected and stand out from the rest of the tracks from start to finish. In fact they stand out so much that they don’t really fit in with the rest.

Another standout track is “Hyyerr” on Act 5, featuring Chip The Ripper.
“Hyyerr “is undoubtedly a banger that doesn’t require you to fuck up your lungs to appreciate it. It’s a smooth and mellow weed anthem that manages to hold the attention of non chiefing individuals like myself. It opens with Cudi’s Ohio henchman, Chip The Ripper, who opens up the song and slashes it with his lyrics.

A nigga like me be so gone/ eyes so low that a nigga gotta throw his locs on/ wonder what them folks on/ that’s what they be asking/ dumb kush we smokes on/ That’s what they be asking/ Dumb kush we smokes on/ Smell it when a nigga pass and we getting to the cash/ And you can see a nigga shining/ Just a lil gold a couple hoes/ Couple two three diamonds/ Up in the hood where you find them/ Unless he out on the road/ Every show gotta bag for the blow/ And patron all my niggas getting throwd/ Like they posed to cause life is short & filled with lots of grief and doubt/So I just pull that bag of colorful frosty leaves on out & free my scalp/

Overall Man On The Moon isn’t great, but it’s not bad either. Throughout the album you can’t help but picture teenagers in tight jeans rolling blunts and bobbing their head to music. I’m sure the emo, hipster kids will love it. While it’s decent, it proves to be a little over hyped, a little overly sing-song and incredibly reminiscent of his predecessor. While not blown into orbit by the project, I can appreciate his artistic intentions. Cudi reminds me of the artsy black kid in school that was a loner, relying on his notebook full of drawings and paint brushes for company which is fine. I support it; get your shine lonely art boy.

 

 

If you’re an avid Cudi addict you’ll love hearing him sing and wail his way through the project a la Kanye, but if you’re new to his signature delivery you may find yourself in my shoes, pretty much bored as hell. Great production in fact, great Kanye-esque production, but the content is lacking in my book. Also duly noted is the album artwork. I want whoever did that to do the programs at my wedding. Overall I give it a B-, because giving it a C would make me sound like too much of a hater and I don’t want you hipsters to come looking for me. You have a nice voice though Cudi, if rapping doesn’t work out for you, you should look into joining a church choir. He still sexy though….lol

 

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