Album Review: Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager by Kid Cudi

In contrast to a latter track title off his premiere mixtape “A Kid Named Cudi”, Kid Cudi is by no means “spazzin’” anymore. On his most recent studio album “Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager”, Cudi’s wild side which was so prevalent on AKNC is eclipsed by his mild side on Moon 2. Whether this is Cudi straying from the style that helped him find fame or his natural maturation is up to the listener but either way, Moon 2 stands on its own legs.

Cudi makes it clear from track one that Moon 2 is not simply a continuation of any of his previous albums except by title. Bringing on Cee-Lo Green and his trademark gospel sound, “Scott Mescudi vs. The World” pays dual tribute to Cudi’s unconventional style of rapping and a certain recent Hollywood box office failure. Subsequent tracks come straight from the Cudi mould of marching rhythms and catchy melodies that are slightly odd enough to make them stick in your head for a few minutes after you hear them.

The normalcy lasts all of three tracks before Cudi gets into some strange territory with “We Aite” that has more in common with Buddhist prayer chants than anything else. “Marijuana”, “Mojo So Dope” and “Ashin’ Kusher” all tread in the realm of stoner-raps but track by track, emerge from the hazy nether-regions of experimental rap.

It’s with “Erase Me” (featuring Kanye West) that Cudi pays the bills. Like it or not, this is the banger that’s made for the airwaves. Catchy hook? Check. Simple melody and lyrics? Check. High-profile guest appearance? Check.

“The Mood” and “Maniac” sustain Moon 2’s dark feel with sinister beats and Cudi telling tales in the lowest voice possible. An early line from “Maniac” sums it up nicely: “I am the maniac. I am the ghoul. I am the shadows in the corner of my room”. Other fun terms to mesh with the unicorns-and-rainbows theme: cloak, coffin, unruliness, darkness.

Sound like your cup of tea- erm, black coffee? If the prospect of a cross-genre rap that borders on the experimental gets you all hot and bothered, Moon 2 is worth a listen. Sound a little too strange? Don’t worry; Cudi’s just pushing the envelope.