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Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 4
Production 8
Creativity 5
Lasting Value 3
Reviewer Tilt 6
Final Verdict: 59%
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Inside AP.net

Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager

Reviewed by: weworemasks (11/09/10)
Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
Record Label: Universal/Motown/G.O.O.D. Music
Release Date: November 9, 2010


It’s funny - if there was one new artist pre-Rosewood movement that could carry his own weight as a member of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music record label, it was Kid Cudi. He managed to release a successful mixtape and build his own buzz prior to ever being signed. He was also one of the first from the XXL Freshman bunch to release his debut album. Granted, the LP was critically polarizing, but his fanbase continued to grow with the ongoing commercial success of “Day N Nite” and “The Pursuit of Happiness.”

Somewhere along the lines of his debut and his drug charges, Cudi lost track of what worked for him. He knows he isn’t the best rapper. He is however, good at singing, embracing melodies and writing great hooks (see: “Erase Me,” Kanye West’s “Welcome to Heartbreak,” David Guetta’s “Memories”). So how come there aren’t very many memorable hooks on MOTM II? Why is this record so completely devoid of appeal, both personal and commercial? And how do you explain how misguided and inconsistent it is?

Taking into consideration the bulk of the album’s content, we’re looking at drugs, using them and partying with them. It’s not some deeply embedded secret either. With titles like “Ashin’ Kusher,” “Wylin Cause I’m Young” and “Marijuana,” it’s not difficult to see his intentions. And sure, one must revert back to the album’s subtitle of The Legend of Mr. Rager, which allows the record to embrace this type of debauchery and reckless abandonment. Despite the title, when you’re showcasing lyrics like “Money to blow/That’s more money for blow,” there’s so much more left to be desired.

The earnest and vulnerable leanings of the first volume of Man on the Moon worked well for Cudi, in that it made him the most likable and approachable anti-hero. He had his qualms, but listeners could sympathize with him. But there’s very little to be applauded here. Instead, we’re subjected to an endless barrage of stoner babble over the type of droned, syrupy production that serves as the most fatal of album buzz kills. Very few songs are actually noteworthy and interesting and even then, do little to keep the record afloat. The Cee-Lo feature on “Scott Mescudi vs. The World” is a clear-cut asset. “All Along” and “Trapped in My Mind” send the album out on a high note and are two of the album’s saving graces, but show up after the listener has already lost interest.

In the end, Kid Cudi is still an underdog. The music he’s making isn’t for the masses anymore and the risk is especially worth applauding. However, alienating the fanbase that loved the styles of your mixtape and first album and ditching it for a more disconnected and narcissistic sound isn’t good business. The term “sophomore slump” is so much further than applicable here, but almost a moot point now; especially considering Cudi’s plans to ditch the hip-hop landscape altogether, in favor of a rock band for his next outing. And “Erase Me” is enough indication of how that will turn out. Lastly, an underdog who’s on a constant slide into obscurity and a lack of relatability just isn’t very becoming.

Recommended If You Likethis video, using drugs; namely DMT and marijuana


www.myspace.com/kidcudi
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 27
05:50 AM on 11/14/10
#2
Ryan Gardner
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Spot on review. One of the most disappointing releases of the year.
07:45 AM on 11/14/10
#3
JordanBuell
and sail belly up to the clouds
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Really solid review.
02:21 AM on 11/21/10
#4
TheKyle
Doesn't afraid of anything
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Spot on review!

I can understand peoples dissapointments, but I still love every song.
06:08 AM on 11/21/10
#5
Lozee Rose
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Much better review than the staff one. Good job.
06:37 AM on 11/21/10
#6
weworemasks
save the drama for wilmer valderama
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Spot on review!

I can understand peoples dissapointments, but I still love every song.

this website would be so different if nice folks like you were the majority, haha.

Much better review than the staff one. Good job.

07:30 AM on 11/21/10
#7
niyaz
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I disagree with your assessment and felt compelled to comment because i too had a similar impression of this record when i first listened to it.

but this isn't a record that's easy to absorb right off the bat, or even a few spins in. on the surface, it is a disjointed record. there's a lot of atmosphere instead of beats, and even when they are beats they're not even as hip-hop as the stuff from the first MOTM.

but once you start listening to the record more and more, you'll notice that the battle is won lyrically, both thematically and in specific verses/choruses ... ex: listen to "don't play this song" (featuring mary j. blige) ... with the lyrics: "you wan't to know what i sound like when i'm not on drugs, please, please, don't play this song" ...

This is a record that was made by a dude who admits that weed is "the only thing that keeps me level/ Up in my crazy head." And clearly he's picked up a little nose candy habit for album two as well.

But what makes this record great is that it's a snapshot of some of his most personal inner demons, and a look at how he copes with being Scott Mescudi, not even Kid Cudi, but just actually himself. And he doesn't care if you agree with the drug abuser or not (sometimes even forthright unforgiving about it "Wylin' Cause I'm Young", "The Mood" (lyric: "The skinny amount of girls with coke on their gums/ ... No one talks, sweatin' it out, lost in the mood")."

He's clearly not creating music for pop/commercial appeal. But his honesty, creativity, and concept won me over.

Finally, hooks: Erase Me. Ashin' Kusher. Mr. Rager. Those are the best ones in my opinion. But other songs will get stuck in your head for different reasons including Maniac. Mojo So Dope. Scott Mescudi Vs. The World.

So yeah. Just a different way to look at it.
08:06 AM on 11/21/10
#8
brandon_260
Ah, yes.
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Great review, album was really disappointing
08:59 AM on 11/21/10
#9
armour248
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pretty much my thoughts exactly. really disappointing album.
09:00 AM on 11/21/10
EmpireVa
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Couldn't disagree more.
09:09 AM on 11/21/10
brook183
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I disagree with your assessment and felt compelled to comment because i too had a similar impression of this record when i first listened to it.

but this isn't a record that's easy to absorb right off the bat, or even a few spins in. on the surface, it is a disjointed record. there's a lot of atmosphere instead of beats, and even when they are beats they're not even as hip-hop as the stuff from the first MOTM.

but once you start listening to the record more and more, you'll notice that the battle is won lyrically, both thematically and in specific verses/choruses ... ex: listen to "don't play this song" (featuring mary j. blige) ... with the lyrics: "you wan't to know what i sound like when i'm not on drugs, please, please, don't play this song" ...

This is a record that was made by a dude who admits that weed is "the only thing that keeps me level/ Up in my crazy head." And clearly he's picked up a little nose candy habit for album two as well.

But what makes this record great is that it's a snapshot of some of his most personal inner demons, and a look at how he copes with being Scott Mescudi, not even Kid Cudi, but just actually himself. And he doesn't care if you agree with the drug abuser or not (sometimes even forthright unforgiving about it "Wylin' Cause I'm Young", "The Mood" (lyric: "The skinny amount of girls with coke on their gums/ ... No one talks, sweatin' it out, lost in the mood")."

He's clearly not creating music for pop/commercial appeal. But his honesty, creativity, and concept won me over.

Finally, hooks: Erase Me. Ashin' Kusher. Mr. Rager. Those are the best ones in my opinion. But other songs will get stuck in your head for different reasons including Maniac. Mojo So Dope. Scott Mescudi Vs. The World.

So yeah. Just a different way to look at it.
exactly.
09:46 AM on 11/21/10
HometownHero
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Album was so bad. I really wish some of the beats used could have been given to someone else that would actually snap on them. This is the only review that matters because all others are to positive. The backlash on your site still makes me lol.
10:17 AM on 11/21/10
airik625
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Need to give it another chance but after first listen, I was eager to turn it off.
11:35 AM on 11/21/10
aolsux
phase reverse
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Why do people not like this? I don't think it's groundbreaking, but it definitely does not merit any of the hatred it has garnished. Regarding the review: I think the album is chalk full of hooks and versatility in rock-jams and rap-jams. The problem I had with his previous effort was that all the songs kind of blended in a mish-mosh of similarity. Erase Me literally is the weakest song of the seventeen to choose from the new album.

Perhaps if everyone wasn't sucking Kanye's dick over his new album and listened with an open mind, this album could have over a 59% review. I am not trying to criticize anyone's opinion, but I do find it a tad ridiculous that no one even gave this album a chance. For mellower rap and pseudo-rock, it has everything that one could ask for plus just a solid release for 2010.
12:01 PM on 11/21/10
Nick Le
Yeezy taught me.
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Finally a review that I can agree with and a well written one at that. I have so much trouble making it through this album. I'll keep on listening, but I don't see my opinions changing over this one.
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