Kid Cudi is a Cleveland based hip-hop artist who blossomed in the year of 2008 with the release of “A Kid Name Cudi.” The release of this mix tape is what put him on the radar of hip hop enthusiasts and critics alike. His different style and prominent voice was what had set him apart from other hip hop artists at the time. Once his full studio album “Man on the Moon: The End of Day” released in 2009, Cudi had arguably one of the hottest singles at the time with “Pursuit of Happiness”, a strong fan base, and was signed with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D music label. To follow up his first studio album, he released “Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager” the next year. Cudi’s “Man on the Moon” series were ambitious projects and were widely accepted as good projects in the music community. Everything seemed fine and dandy for the rise of the Man on the Moon.
Flash forward to today and he has released an experimentation album called “WZRD” which was not received well, he has split paths with his G.O.O.D music label, and has released his self proclaimed version of “The Chronic 2001” in the form of “Indicud”. Kid Cudi has seemingly been trying to find his path over the last few years and feels that he has finally found it with the release of “Indicud.” This album is a large production failure but leaves his fans hope amidst all of his recent blunders.
“Indicud” is fully produced by Cudi himself. He attempts to prove to his listeners that he can be an established producer. The production on “Indicud” was very spotty. There was glimmers of great production and then there was just straight flat out horrid production. The problem I find with this album is that it feels the same throughout the entire album. There is rarely a change of pace or wide range of sounds. It’s like a machine churning the same tune for what happens to be over an hour long. It’s also important to note that Cudi’s production is meant to be spotlighted in this album. He has three tracks, “The Resurrection of Scott Mescudi” , “The Flight of the Man on the Moon”, and “New York City Rage Fest” , that are pure instrumentals. He also has two other tracks that might as well be instrumentals in “Beez” and “Red Eye” with Cudi stepping aside and having his features do all the vocal work. All of these tracks shine a spotlight onto the Kid Cudi’s production, which would be fine if the production was spot on, but that is not the case.
When it comes to the production, this album reminds me a whole lot of Cudi’s “WZRD”. “WZRD” was supposed to be this experimental “rock” album that Cudi had strived to create. Once it was actually released, listeners and critics took the album as more of a weird grunge type of experiment with some very heavy and repetitive power chords use in the guitar in nearly all of his tracks on that album. That same heavy, dark, and repetitive sound is carried on to this album in the production.
The intro to the album opens up with “The Resurrection of Scott Mescudi” and immediately sets the tone of the album. The intro has a very dark and menacing sound with synthesizers blaring and a steady bass beating in the background. The song then smoothly transitions into “Unf*ckwittable” which sounds exactly as the song before it. Thus starts the monotonous, repetitive, and dark production that is littered all over this album. Luckily a bit of change comes to the listeners in the form of “Just What I Am”. This track still carries the over used synthesizers that are used throughout but the production on this song steps aside to showcase Chip’s excellent flow. On the next track “Young Lady”, Cudi uses a repetitive guitar rift in the back ground along with some euphoric sounds to create a very foggy and messy track. Once the middle of the album is reached, the listeners get the best produced songs in “Immortal” and “Solo Dolo pt. 2”. “Immortal” actually uses MGMT’s “Celebration” track as a base and then adds his own flavor to the track. He reverses the sample by playing it backwards and adds some really nice layering to the song. This track is one of the best produced songs on this album. It feels like the track would belong in one of his Man on the Moon albums and makes this track feel right at home. Another familiar track, “Solo Dolo Pt.2″ is actually the biggest change of pace on this album. The actual sample used sounds like it would be featured in an 80’s horror movie. The track sounds dark and ominous, add that with Kendrick Lamar’s verse and you’ve got yourself one of the best tracks on this album. Sadly, at this point the album goes completely downhill.
The track that follows ” Solo Dolo Pt. 2″ is wrong on so many different levels. The track “Girls” is quite possibly one of the worst tracks I have heard all year. At this point in the album, the listener can be just completely over encumbered with the album. The rest of the songs remaining on this album are even more so forgettable with the exception of “Beez” with a stellar feature in RZA. The production on this album is completely lack luster which leads me to the next segment:
Kid Cudi has never been known to have the best lyrics. What he is known for is catchy hooks and most importantly, stepping out of the norm and being a very unique rapper. In a world where Rick Ross and Drake rule the radio, Kid Cudi was a breath of fresh air as a main stream artist. On the contrary, this album was too experimental for its own good and not focused what so ever. No one could ever really describe what Cudi’s “Man on the Moon” series were about but at least it felt cohesive and together. This project is incredibly jumbled and feels largely disjointed. Not to mention, this album is over an hour long topping at 18 tracks. Personally, I favor long albums, but when the album is subpar and relentlessly batters the listener with repetitiveness through the entire project there is definitely a problem.
“Don’t you feel it? Feel it? Feel It?/You know that I’m unf*ckwittable.” No Cudi, just no, I don’t feel it. The second track’s main chorus to “Unf*ckwittable” is exactly how Cudi feels throughout the entire album. Kid Cudi feels that he is unstoppable, powerful, and the greatest of all time. He carries the bravado throughout the entire project on tracks like “Just What I am”, “Immortal”, “Cold Blooded”, and “Solo Dolo Pt. 2”. The problem with Cudi’s large ego is that he believes he is the best, but yet easily gets outshined by some features on the album. This is especially prevalent on the track “Solo Dolo pt. 2”. Kendrick Lamar is a complete rhyme slayer and on “Solo Dolo Pt. 2”, he delivers. “Eternity, no such thing as time will tell /Infirmary, burn like magnetic combustion/ Bad credit with me, and paramedics are hustlin.” Lamar completely stole the show while Cudi spits “I don’t do a thing and these bitches lickin’ they lips /Me and Chip reflect on all the hate and jibber jabber /Mmm, you almost got me, but sucker I’m not a sucker.” Cudi even manages to get outshined on the track “Just What I am” by King Chip. Cudi’s bravado is understandable but he can’t honestly think that by just gracing a track with your voice automatically means that you are almighty. An artist has to really leave it out there and Chip and Kendrick did just that.
Another problem is the cringe inducing tracks about girls on this album. The track “Young Lady” is about a love song about some dream girl Cudi has and tells “You got it goin Young Lady”. The track does not work. The lyrics are bad, the chorus is just awkward, and the placement of this track was terrible. To have this track play right after “Just what I am” completely kills the mood of the listener. Sadly, this song isn’t even the worst offense. As I have mentioned before, “Girls” is the worst track. Not only does it kill the mood of the track that “Solo Dolo Pt. 2” graciously puts you in, the track shamelessly steals the chorus from a movie called “The Ringer”. “I see pretty girls everywhere I go /Every, everywhere I go, every, everywhere I go.” The chorus was bad enough right? You’d think Cudi would stop there, but no, he decides to have Too Short be a feature on the track. “The baddest little b*tch half-Black, half-Thai/ Don’t be prejudiced, cause she’s mixed /I’d still f*ck the blackest b*tch.” I could not believe my ears when listening to this track due to how bad it was.
To be honest, this album is not bad but Cudi manages to make me dislike this album with some horrible track placement. The album was promising the first three tracks but once it hit that fourth track with “Young Lady”, any type of momentum was completely gone. Then he did it again after “Solo Dolo Pt.2” with the “Girls” track and just to rub it in our face that much more he decides to leave the after taste of “Afterwards”. One of the most completely pointless songs on the album. It is a nine minute track of nothing and was honestly the last straw that straight destroyed the camel’s back.
This album was a major disappointment but also gave reason for any leftover Kid Cudi fans to have hope. The last track on this album is fittingly called “The Flight of the Man on the Moon.” We can all hope for Cudi to complete the “Man on the Moon” series as soon as possible and channel the great tracks on this album, to create a fitting album for himself and fans alike. Cudi has effectively lost sight of who he is. Who knows what has been happening to the moon man with his recent blunders and split with G.O.O.D. Music. Nonetheless, I still have faith that he will find himself alone on the moon again in due time.