The Man on the Moon has come back down to earth to tell us more about his tales. Indicud marks his third visit to our planet. The lead up to this journey has had Cudi comparing this album to the likes of Dr. Dre’s 2001. Don’t expect any Snoop verses or songs about Compton’s streets. Kid Cudi is referring to the point that he has produced all of the tracks himself and even left his vocals off some of the songs while others bless the mic. It’s been almost 3 years since Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager was released. While making brief cameos on albums like Big Boi’s Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors and his now ex-label’s collaboration album Cruel Summer it seems like Scott Mescudi is ready to leave his own footprints…
1. The Resurrection of Scott Mescudi Produced by Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi will always keep fans guessing. To start the album off we get a 2 and half minute tripped out instrumental. The beat sounds like a really intense acid trip, which is probably inspired by an actual event in Cudi’s life. The beat is very synth heavy which will be no surprise to old fans. To the new listeners, get ready for a lot of this.
2. Unfuckwittable Produced by Kid Cudi
Bridging the gap between tracks one and two is an extremely creepy Macaulay Culkin sample from the movie The Good Son. As for the title of this song, I think Scotty has coined a new phrased which potentially will be used by the masses. It’s a 4 and half minute long track with only a handful of lyrics. This isn’t a bad thing though; it gets his point across with no filler. Plus it brings out the dopeness of the beat. Cudi never fails expressing his song’s message. This one is to be played when you’re feeling in the zone.
3. Just What I Am Featuring King Chip; Produced by Kid Cudi
Whoever is delaying Kid Cudi’s albums needs to be fired. Remember how much longer his album was realised after “Day ‘n’ Night” came out? Maybe the songs are just leaking earlier than expected but this banger has been out since last year! Anyway the track itself is one of the best stoner anthems since “Hits From The Bong”. The production and chorus are trippy. The lyrics are smooth as ice and King Chip has one of the slickest lines around:
Neighbours knockin’ on the door, asking can we turn it down
I say, ‘Ain’t no music on’ she said, ‘Naw, that weed is loud’
4. Young Lady Featuring Father John Misty; Produced by Kid Cudi
I’m not really sure this can really count as a “feature” as it’s more of a Father John Misty sample. Never the less the sampled vocals fit in extremely well here. Cudi has put together a pretty solid beat. The story here is about a girl that’s got Cudi’s attention. Probably one of the stronger points of the album so far.
5. King Wizard Produced by Kid Cudi
It’s funny what Cudi can get away with in his lyrics. On paper it would seem like he is speaking about all the ig’nant shit that most rappers talk about now. Some of the topics here are: women, money and drugs. But it’s not all it’s about. Cudi quickly shows some vulnerability with “I can’t decide if life’s a lie” but quickly drops back on the royal tip with the following line “I push the lames aside…King Wizard!”. The song itself isn’t very inspiring and falls kind of flat. Check the video here.
6. Immortal Produced by Kid Cudi
Speaking of inspiring, this is more like it. As most of Kid Cudi’s songs are about dealing with depression and loneliness, this one is no different. The topics are a strange mix of complete loss: “Spent the last month feeling bad ‘bout myself/I couldn’t speak anything of real hope” then again a swift change to motivation and confidence with:
And the day came when it hit me like lightning through my veins
A sudden change in my groove, in my walk
I got my lion heart and electric flowing through my brain
The ironic part of this is that beat is melancholy but the lyrics are somewhat uplifting to the spirit.
7. Solo Dolo Part II Featuring Kendrick Lamar; Produced by Kid Cudi
Sequels to songs and albums always leave me scratching my head. I don’t understand why artists put that pressure on themselves to live up to the expectations of the previous editions. There have been successful ones (DMX’s “Damien” trilogy, Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones Pt. 2”) and less than stellar follow ups (Snoop’s “Gin & Juice 2” and Ice Cube’s “Once Upon a Time in the Projects 2”) but this one is totally confusing. First off Emile, who was the original producers of the first one, isn’t on the beat. Plus there’s an unnecessary hook and verse from Kendrick (not a bad verse, just unnecessary). If this song just had a new title all together then that would make sense because it’s not a bad track. There’s just no reason to connect this to the first “Solo Dolo”.
8. Girls Featuring Too $hort; Produced by Kid Cudi
This track is brilliant for a few reasons. The main one being that someone, somewhere thought of the idea to team up Kid Cudi and Too $hort on a song. It’s so great when you think about it. These two both make songs about encounters with the ladies but do it in such different ways. Kid Cudi’s lines are full of trippy poetry while Too $hort just gets straight to the point.
Kid Cudi: “Let me smell your sin girl, damn you look right so right/No groupies, see a blonde girl with a brunette”
Too $hort: “Don’t be prejudice because she’s mixed/I still fuck the blackest bitch”
The contrast between these two is amazing. But in the end all they want to do is sleep with some fine women.
9. New York City Rage Fest Produced by Kid Cudi
Since we’re at the halfway point of the album Cudi has treated us to a two-minute instrumental which he, again, produced himself. Not a bad beat. It’s defiantly being used to build anticipation for the second half of the album.
10. Red Eye Featuring Haim; Produced by Kid Cudi
Okay so it seemed like the album was heading down a more up beat path but of course it’s back to the dark thoughts. Even though this track is more like a Haim song with a Kid Cudi feature it’s one of the stand out tracks. The vocals are great. Picture a white Mary J. Blige and that’s what you get here.
Also just a quick note: You have to appreciate artists like Cudi that collaborate with artists you wouldn’t normally come across.
11. Mad Solar Produced by Kid Cudi
So far the songs haven’t been terrible but there’s been no real change up in the production and/or topics. Like I said this song isn’t bad but the lack of colour and variety is becoming tiresome. Things are starting to drag folks.
12. Beez Featuring RZA; Produced by Kid Cudi
Okay great! An unexpected feature! This mixes things up. Kid again has his best host manners intact and leaves the spot light to be filled by his guest. He does pop up in the chorus but leaves the two verses to be spat by The RZA. I have to say that I’m really impressed with the Wu-Tang leader on this one. Usually I only look out for RZA beats but this go around I’m digging his flow and contents along with his story telling. Bobby Digital sums it up best with “I don’t write songs, grasshopper, I write sceneries”.
13. Brothers Featuring King Chip & A$AP Rocky; Produced by Kid Cudi
It’s nice to hear Cudi finally spit a long verse this far into the album. Nothing against his singing (because that’s actually really dope, check the melodic chorus) but we know that Scotty has those nice flows too when he gets in his MC mode. It’s probably due to the fact that he’s in a bit of competition here rhyming alongside Chip and Rocky. In fact A$AP probably has the best verse and flow. Another strong point on the album.
14. Burn Baby Burn Produced by Kid Cudi
It’s hard to say bad things about these songs but since the subject matter and sounds don’t change up all that match it’s kind of hard to tell the difference between each track. Again we get a dark song throwing the middle finger to the haters and drug talk…change the record Cudi…please…
15. Lord of the Sad and Lonely Produced by Kid Cudi
For a song called “The Lord of the Sad and Lonely” the beat isn’t all that depressing compared to the other tracks. But that’s not to say this is a song about sunshine and butterflies. It’s more of a Drake styled ‘being rich and famous doesn’t fix your problems’ kind of deal.
“I got jewelry sittin’ on my slit wrist”. Cudi should have considered either switching up his sound or getting at least one other producer on this album.
16. Cold Blooded Produced by Kid Cudi
This is fucking it! Some fucking life shown! Thank you. A beat that will have your head boppin’ and Cudi’s flow is catchy as hell. Finally a switch up in his vocals. He even dares you to think any different of him. “Only good for a hook huh? Let me show you flows”. It’s kind of amazing how he can make a song about being the man and still show some honesty by admitting that he isn’t scared of anyone besides his late father. This sounds like what Rick James might have made if he lived to see the year 3015.
17. Afterwards (Bring Yo Friends) Featuring King Chip & Michael Bolton; Produced by Kid Cudi
Hang on a minute. I thought The Lonely Island were just joking around when they put Michael Bolton on a track. I guess Mescudi was thinking differently. To be honest at first I thought it was a sample but this is a legitimate Michael Bolton feature. Hey, why not right? Anyway it actually works. You might get sick of the song since once all the verses and choruses are said and done there’s an additional 5 minutes or so of Bolton’s vocals on repeat than a slowed down call and response between Kid Cudi and King Chip. Strange music but what else should we expect from an album entirely produced by the Man on the Moon.
18. The Flight of the Moon Man Produced by Kid Cudi
And just like that the trip into space finishes. The album is rounded off with another tripped out instrumental. Please be wary. If you’re going to listen to this album stoned (which a whole lot of you are) get ready to hear some strange sounds and be shown some dark places.
Kid Cudi has taken on a huge responsibility producing the majority of this album. It could be looked at since Cudi is leaving G.O.O.D. Music he is trying to prove he can make a career for himself outside of the label’s umbrella and props to him for doing so. With that being said it’s hard not to miss previous collaborators like Kanye, Plain Pat and Emile.
Cudi has likened this album to Dr Dre’s 2001, meaning he’s produced all of the tracks and even taken a more of the behind scenes position on some of the songs giving others the chance to shine (Haim, King Chip, RZA). It’s easy to say that Indicud does not even hold a candle to Dre’s classic second album but it is a bald move all the same.
Fans of Cudi’s first two albums might be a little disappointed with the lack of Kanye influence and no story line. But there are all the other themes (space travel, drug use, pretty girls, deep depression, sung verses) that drew in Kid Cudi’s audience from the beginning.
Overall I think with 18 tracks deep the Man on the Moon may have bitten off a little more then he can chew. The album lacks a versatile sound and probably could have used another producer in the mix just for one or two songs in order to shake things up.
Overall I think this album has some really solid songs (“Unfuckwittable”, “Just What I Am”, “Cold Blooded”) but at the same time there are other tracks that either sound the same or just bring the album down (“Burn Baby Burn”, “Mad Solar”). But no one should hate on Cudi for trying to mark his own lane for himself. It just seems like he needs a few more years in the game to perfect his solo dolo.