Music Feature

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

by Pete Tarrant
Let's go to the moon, Kid.

The Cudder is back with Volume II of the Man on the Moon series. Following the format of Volume I: The End of Day, the album takes the listener through five acts. The acts featured in Vol. 1, such as “Rise of the Night Terrors” and “A New Beginning,” represented the life and times of Scott Mescudi leading up to the release of his first album. The five acts of Vol. II (The World I Am Ruling, Stronger Trip, Party On, The Transformation, and You Live, You Learn) represent the fame, temptation, and desires of celebrity life. KiD CuDi gained many fans because of how vividly he detailed the harsh realities of life. Not as many fans are going to be able to directly relate to the trials and tribulations of Mr. Rager. However, the music remains catchy, honest, and dark, which will keep his fans satisfied and keep the haters hatin’.

Where Vol. I featured surprise guest spots from the likes of Ratatat and MGMT on “Pursuit of Happiness”, Vol. II features St. Vincent and Cage on “Maniac”. Other features on the album include Cee Lo Green, Mary J. Blige, KanYe West, Chip Tha Ripper, GLC, and Nicole Wray. In a recent interview with MTV he said that he was hesitant to ask Mary J. Blige to provide vocals for the darker tracks, but the R&B diva willingly hopped on two of the album’s darkest tracks,“These Worries” and “Don‘t Play This Song.” The latter proclaims “Want to know what this sounds like when I’m not on drugs? Please don’t play this song.” Controversy about drug use has surrounded KiD CuDi, and he does not shy away from the topic at all. The lonely stoner loves his weed, and two tracks, “Marijuana” and “Ashin‘ Kusher,” are dedicated to his drug of choice. On “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” from Vol. I, he says “I’m this close to going and trying some coke”. It’s no secret that he has been dancing with the devil recently, and he isn’t afraid to confront that on this album.

KiD CuDi has found his niche by doing a lot of singing on his tracks, but also rapping when need be (he's considered a rapper because of his association with KanYe and the G.O.O.D. music family). There is a good blend of singing CuDi and rapping CuDi on this album, not doing too much of one or the other. The production from CuDi’s team, Emile Haynie, Plain Pat, and Dot Da Genius (amongst others), is tight, and matches each song’s topic and sets the mood perfectly. Vol. I got better with each listen, and it took a few plays for each song to really sink in. The same goes for Vol. II. It's a tall task for Mescudi to make a better album than his debut, but like any second installment in a series, this is to be expected. He did what he had to do, and that was to create an album that keeps him relevant. KiD CuDi is here to stay and the series is to be continued with Man on the Moon: Volume III.

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