At 9 o’clock on December 10, Kid Cudi released the third of the Man on the Moon trilogy of albums. These albums are among the best hip-hop albums of all time. Cudi brings a sense of wonder with his dark, space-themed music. He virtually created his own genre of emo rap, which inspired rappers such as Juice WRLD, Trippie Redd, and MGK. Cudi claims he was inspired by fellow rapper and close friend Travis Scott to rap on this album more than he usually would, and it definitely shows.
The album starts on Act 1: Return 2 Madness, with a 37 second long track called “Beautiful Trip.” This song is wildly nostalgic to the first Man on the Moon with a subtle hint towards a song called “In My Dreams.” Beautiful Trip’s steady heartbeat and fast paced transition moves perfectly into the next song called “Tequila Shots.” Tequila Shots is the most popular song from this album, as it mixes sad, deep lyrics, some familiar Kid Cudi flows, and a singable melody. This song can be listened to in any mood and can be interpreted in many different ways. The next song is called “Another Day,” and it has as much of a drill rap sound as Kid Cudi can create. There is still the normal auto-tuned Cudi singing that we all know and love, but there is a lot of bass and angered rap as well. Next, the track called “She Knows This” comes on. The intro to this song is a snippet from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Cudi’s real name is Scott, so he probably has a connection to this movie. The first 45 seconds of the song sounds like something KYLE would produce, and there are other KYLE-type verses scattered throughout. “She Knows This” is a great song, and I would definitely recommend it. “Dive” is the next song and it isn’t great. Its lyrics are okay, but the chorus is just bad. The flow doesn’t really fit the beat, and the lyrics of it are uncomfortable to listen to.
The beginning of Act 2: The Rager, The Menace, starts with a song called “Damaged.” Act 2 depicts a lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, and partying. Damaged shows that the partying is the only thing that fills the void of being a “damaged man.” It is actually a pretty sad song, but it doesn’t seem that way unless you pay attention. Much like “Day ‘N’ Nite” from Man on the Moon 1. The next track is called “Heaven on Earth.” It is a bass-heavy beat with dark lyrics and much less singing and humming than we are used to. Overall, Heaven on Earth is a good song but it isn’t very memorable. The next song is called “Show Out,” featuring the late New York drill rap king Pop Smoke and the most popular U.K. drill rapper Skepta. The song starts with a very solid and memorable chorus from Pop Smoke, and then a fantastic verse from Skepta. Cudi also has a very good verse, with a sing along-ability that you don’t get very often from Cudi’s complex verses. The one thing I don’t like about this song is that the chorus is slightly repetitive and is played too many times throughout the song. Pop died before getting to finish his album Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, which meant that his producing team had to use pretty much every unreleased snippet he ever created, leaving very little for artists like Cudi to use. The last song in Act 2 is “Mr. Solo Dolo III,” which is a pretty sad song. Cudi uses his humming to give an eerie feel to Solo Dolo 3, and it really summarizes all 3 of these songs. It isn’t a song that you will play on repeat, but it is solid all around.
The third act, which is called Heart of Rose Gold, shows Cudi coming back down to earth after partying too much in Act 2. He sings about his addictions and how badly his life has gone recently. “Sad People” starts this act, and it really is written for all of the sad people in the world. Next is “Elsie’s Baby Boy (flashback),” which samples “The House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. The House of the Rising Sun tells the story of a man’s life collapsing in New Orleans. Cudi relates to this song in “Elsie’s Baby Boy” by showing how his life had been ruined since a very young age. This song is wildy nostalgic and overall a fantastic listening experience. “Sept. 16” is the next song on the album. It is another sad song, but this time it is about the loss of a loved one. “The Void” is the next song in Act 3, and it is a great song, but it shows that Cudi will do drugs and alcohol in order to not be hurt by others but doing those things ends up with him being hurt either way. The final song of this act is called “Lovin’ Me.” This song is really just Cudi reflecting on his life and thanking the people who’ve helped him. Phoebe Bridgers has an amazing and beautiful verse, and I think this is one of the most underrated songs on the entire album.
The 4th and final act is called Powers. The four songs on Powers are “The Pale Moonlight,” “Rockstar Knights,” “4 Da Kidz,” and “Lord I Know.” “The Pale Moonlight” is a pretty solid song. It sounds like it could be on Man the Moon 1, and has a catchy chorus. Rockstar Knights features Trippie Redd who, like Cudi, is a Cleveland native. It is a very exciting song, but it sounds like Cudi is the one who is featuring. The lyrics don’t have much meaning to them, but it isn’t supposed to be a song that makes you think. “4 Da Kidz” is the best song in this act, as it has everything you need in a Kid Cudi song: melodic humming, fast paced lyrics, and a crazy beat that shouldn’t make sense, but it does. The final song of the album is called “Lord I Know.” This song is just not that interesting. The beat is high pitched and fast and it doesn’t fit well with the lyrics. This act is the least impressive of the album, but that is only because the rest of the album is so well done.
Overall this was a really good album, but it doesn’t beat the first Man on the Moon album; Man on the Moon 1 is one of the greatest albums of all time. If you want to check out this album I would recommend “Tequila Shots,” “She Knows This,” “Show Out,” and “Sept. 16.”