Alright, if you’ve been to the forums, then you know that I’m not the biggest Kid Cudi fan. He’s just too different. I mean, can you even call what he does Hip-Hop or rap? Plus, what is his appeal? The man can rap, but he’s not running for “Best Rapper Alive” anytime soon, and his singing is mainly monotone talking. Damn. Was I really the right person to review this album? I figured I’d take it since Chew pretty much dished this one to me. And anyway, the cover for this album looks cool, it looks like one of those special artistic albums that hardly even come out anymore. Plus, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like “Day ‘n’ Nite”, and “Make Her Say” has got to be some of Kanye’s best production ever. Still, can Cudi make a fan out of me? Let’s experience The End of Day.
*Act I: The End of Day
Explanation: Kid Cudi here is dreaming; in his dreams he can do anything he wants to do, and he is happy. The first part of the CD.
1. In My Dreams(Cudder Anthem) Produced by Emile
This intro immediately caught my attention. “Here in my dreams…” Cudi sings. His singing still hasn’t really caught me as being good, but it’s a catchy song with a very cinematic beat behind it, and it really sets up the album and starts it up on a very good note. You could play this song, sit back, and relax with the synth and the violin like sounds in the background. I’m impressed! After two verses, Common comes on as the narrator of the album, spitting some poetry, introducing the story of a young man who believed in himself, “The man on the moon…”. Great song, gets you in the mood for the album.
2. Soundtrack 2 My Life Produced by Emile
Alright, this is about as close as we get to actual Hip-Hop on this entire album, and it’s good. I mean, like I said before, Cudi is not going for best rapper alive anytime soon, but he’s got enough skill to keep it fresh at the same time. The song is basically a biography of his life and how this album/song is the “Soundtrack 2 His Life”. The beat on this is nice; the production is spacey and street at the same time, so it really does fit Cudi’s style very well. The songs on this album have a weird, kind of cinematic feel to them. Overall, great track, on of my top tracks of the album..
3. Simple As… Produced by Plain Pat
The sample of “A…B…C…” and “1…2….3” was a little weird at first, but then when Kid Cudi jumps on the track, he straight up kills it. I mean, again, I wouldn’t exactly call this Hip-Hop, but it’s great. The hook is infectious; this guy can’t sing, he makes infectious hooks basically by talking! It kills me. Anyway, this track is hot! At the end of the track, Common comes on and basically introduces us to the next section of Cudi’s life: the Rise Of The Night Terrors.
*Act II: Rise of the Night Terrors
Explanation: Suddenly, Cudi must now deal with a horrible intrusion into his dreams; the night terrors have entered his dreams, and are showing him flashbacks to the dark times in his life. Note: This is my favorite part of the album.
4. Solo Dolo (Nightmare) Produced by Emile
This song is very spacey and bare bones, and first I didn’t really like it because I thought it went on for way too long, but I started to like it after awhile. Cudi sings(?) about how throughout his life, he was alone and he was: “Mr. Solo Dolo”. Like I said, when I first heard this, I was thinking: “SKIP!” But, it grew on me after a couple listens, and I like it now. It’s a good, but not great, track.
5. Heart Of A Lion (Kid Cudi Theme Music) Produced by Free School
I laughed when I heard the title, but this is a great song! I guess at this point in the album, Cudi has realized that he can handle these night terrors, and is standing up to make sure they don’t stop him from realizing his dreams. Cudi’s back to rap on this one, and his flow on this high speed track really impresses me. The Kid’s got skills! Also, the infectious hook on this one had me putting this on repeat a lot. This is definitely without a doubt one of my top songs off the album; when someone has doubts about Kid Cudi, just point them to this song. Not only is it his theme song, but it’s also good for pumping you up, trust me. Excellent song.
6. My World Featuring Billy Cravens; Produced by Plain Pat & Jeff Bhasker
Ok, this is my favorite song off the whole damn album. This one song instantly made me a Kid Cudi fan. This song is like “Solo Dolo” and “Heart of a Lion” mixed together. In saying that, I’m saying that Kid Cudi is talking (call it rapping if you want, but there is NO FLOW AT ALL) about how he felt as a child. Not gonna lie, the parts with Kid Cudi are a little drab, mainly because he’s talking to us in straight up monotone right here, but then Billy Cravens comes on and just kills the hook, because his singing is amazing on this track. It’s weird cause it’s just one sentence: “This will be my world”, but it’s AWESOME!! Plus the story Kid Cudi has to tell is deep: how he spent time as a child in his room, on the moon, dreaming, and how it was only place he really felt safe. Damn good track!
*Act III: Taking a Trip
Explanation: Still haven’t figured out the exact meaning of this section, but if I had to make a ballpark guess, I’d say its all about taking drugs. So Kid Cudi I guess wakes up from his Night Terrors and starts to take drugs…? I mean the lyrics really fit that explanation, but I’m not exactly sure.
7. Day ‘n’ Nite (Nightmare) Produced by Dot Da Genius
This is the song that made Cudi an international star. I’m not gonna spend a lot of time on this track because we’ve all heard it by now. Well, when I first heard it, I didn’t like it. I mean, the man is TALKING! But that hook is hot! So is the really spacey production that is provided by Dot Da Genius. Real good shit, but you already knew this. Good choice for the first single also, by the way.
8. Sky Might Fall Produced by Kanye West
Wow, it’s kind of hard to believe that Kanye only produced 2 tracks off this entire album! This track he did a really good job on, despite the fact that he brought his synth-like Graduation sound to the track. Unsurprisingly, that sound fits perfectly here on the album. Cudi, I assume, is very high right now, talking about how the sky might fall, but he’s not worried at all. His singing on the track is actually good, I like this track a lot. ‘Ye’s production helps to assist this song from being just OK to Great.
9. Enter Galactic (Love Connection Part 1) Produced by Matt Friedman of ILLFONICS
This on some 80’s/pop/Michael Jackson tip (R.I.P. King of Pop, we miss you!). This song is about taking ‘shrooms with your girl! No, I’m not lying. Cudi’s singing here is also great, he’s started singing more I suppose because as the album goes on and he begins to conquer his fears, he is more willing to show us the real him instead of hiding behind a rapping facade.. At least that’s my guess. The beat’s on point, the singing is great, the lyrics are…eh? But all-in-all, good song.
*Act IV: Stuck
Explanation: Well, again, I’m not exactly sure what is going on here, but it’s basically I assume that Kid Cudi is stuck between his dreams and reality(?). Here, you see a lot of different tracks from what we’ve seen earlier, and that, plus the less spacey sound on this compared to previous tracks, tells me that this is a realistic part of Cudi’s life. Of course, this album is all about Cudi accomplishing his dreams, so I guess it all fits.
10. Alive (Nightmare) Featuring & Produced by Ratatat
I can’t tell exactly if Ratatat is doing the hook or if Cudi is, but either way it’s good. Ratatat showed up with the beat; it makes me want to check out some of their stuff. Cudi also showed up for this one. At first, I didn’t really like this song overall, but the hook and the beat grew on me as time went on. Overall, a solid track off the album.
11. Cudi Zone Produced by Emile
This basically Kid Cudi in his own little world again. The track never really grabbed me, which is weird because it sounds very similar to the other tracks. I’m not skipping this one, but at the same time, it’s not one my favorite tracks, it almost feels a little bit like filler to me. Average track.
12. Make Her Say Featuring Kanye West & Common; Produced by Kanye West
The second single off the album, this basically Cudi showing off his lyrical chops alongside lyrical heavyweights Common and West. He holds his own, and the refrain: “She said she want whatever she like/But she gotta bring her friends/And we can have one hell of night/And a day” is simply genius. ‘Ye sampling is straight up the best sample of the year IMO; the acoustic version of “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga (Don’t see the appeal!) is superb, and fits the song perfectly. Overall, this is an excellent song, definitely one of the album’s highlights, at least production wise.
13. Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare) Featuring MGMT & Ratatat; Produced by Ratatat
This is supposed to be the third single off the album, and this one didn’t really grab me either. The rock style of this track doesn’t really seem to fit with the rest of the album, and Cudi seems a little bit off on this one. Once again, not a skip, but it’s one of the lower parts of the album in my opinion.
*Act V: A New Beginning
Explanation: Kid Cudi, upon realizing that his dreams are just dreams, has realized that he had the ability to put his dreams into reality, and the end is simply a new beginning…I think.
14. Hyyerr Featuring Chip Tha Ripper; Produced by Crada
Nah, I’m not feeling this one at all! I’m sorry, SKIP!!
15. Up, Up, & Away (The Wake & Bake Song) Produced by Free School
Damn, what is up with these titles?!? This is a great way to close out the album despite the fact that there is no cohesion between the previous track and this one. Here, Cudi is basically realizing that no matter what happens, he’ll be “Up, Up, & Away” because no matter what, there will always be obstacles in his path, and he’ll overcome them anyway. That’s the deep version of it anyway, haha. Anyway, this is a great track. At the end, Common comes to basically say what I already told you in the explanation, except that Cudi has a new enemy to face, the machine and the ghost within. Sequel, anyone?
Well, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong: this was actually a great album. I mean, everyone knows I’m a Jay-Z stan. I still think The Blueprint 3 is album of the year (haven’t heard that Raekwon yet, it’s probably better), and I’ve been bumping it like crazy; it’s at least better than Deeper Than Rap! But Kid Cudi’s album actually made me listen to something other than BP3, because it was that good. Everyone was telling me Kid Cudi was on that new shit and it was good, and I guess I was too close-minded to see what the possibilities were with an artist like him. Granted, can he sing? Hell no! Can he rap? A little, but he’s no Rakim. So what exactly DOES Cudi bring to the table? He’s unique, he can make VERY infectious hooks, and he brings an epic feel to every track he’s on. This whole album felt like damn movie! Like I said, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong. Kid Cudi’s debut is a breath of fresh air and should be a great start to an even better career.
nappyPicks: Cop the whole album! Only one slip up on the whole thing and we should definitely support artists an innovative as Kid Cudi.