Album Review: Kid Cudi’s “Man on the Moon: The End of Day”

21 Sep

Man on the MoonMany credit Kid Cudi to the new life that has been breathed into hip hop as of late. In late 2007, a single entitled “Day ‘n’ Nite” was leaked to the internet.

The song was weird, to say the least and was a part of a mixtape by a rapper from Cleveland. What came next was unexpected. Unexpected to those not named Kanye West and Kid Cudi.

For some time now, Kid Cudi has been in the background as an artist for Kanye West’s GOOD Music. He has watched Common release critically-acclaimed albums, Kanye West become a star, and Consequence even get some shine.

Finally, Kid Cudi has gotten his turn. In 2009, “Day ‘n’ Nite” was re-released to radio and became the surprise hit of early 2009. An album was put together to support the single and Cudi suddenly became a star.

His debut album is Man on the Moon: The End of Day, people are expecting something new from the man that introduced a new sound. This album may be it.

1. In My Dreams (Cudder Anthem) – This song is the perfect opening to an album. The beat is dark and spacey. The album really gives the feeling of being in outer space. Kid Cudi raps from the inside of his mind on the track. Everything he mentions is what goes on in his mind. The slow melody in the background is reminiscent of music in the 1960s. “In My Dreams” is produced by Emile. (6/10)

2. Soundtrack 2 My Life – The second song on the album, “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” opens very explosive. The song brings the pace of the album up a few notches. Kid Cudi’s rap/sing style helps the song. Kid Cudi opens up about his life on the song and it really lives up to its name. This song is one of the more introspectful songs to be released in recent history. (7/10)

3. Simple As… – The track begins with the phrases “ABC” and “1,2,3.” The beat has rock influence and Kid Cudi handles his own on the track. The chorus is great, as is Cudi’s rhyming. On “Simple As…” Kid Cudi has matered the rap/sing concept. (8/10)

4. Solo Dolo (Nightmare) – As the title tells, “Solo Dolo ” is a nightmare that Kid Cudi is having. The song has the beat that is used in most horror movies. On this song, Cudi is reminsicent of Eminem. The song has a great theme, but the music is not quite getting it. Cudi seems a bit more crazy than creative on this one. (4/10)

5. Heart of a Lion (Kid Cudi Theme Music) – “Heart of a Lion” sounds like a song that is better suited for Kanye West. Despite who it may seem better for, Kid Cudi is on it and he makes it work for him. The song has a shifty beat and Cudi’s rhyming is there. Again, he perfects the rap/sing format. (6/10)

6. My World (featuring Billy Cravens) – “My World” continues the great flow of the album. It begins with a soft violin playing in the background before Kid Cudi’s voice emerges. The song is definitely unique and Cudi proves that despite the comparisons, he is unique. He tells of his dreams to make it big, but in a different way, on this song. “My World” is the perfect “I told you so” song. (8/10)

7. Day ‘n’ Nite – Of course, “Day ‘n’ Nite” is the song of 1,000 lives. It was initially panned by fans and critics. After two years of obscurity, the song became a darling by virtually everyone. The song was a favorite earlier this year and it sets the tone for this album. Alone, the track was great and it gets even better when it is a part of this album. (9/10)

8. Sky Might Fall – This Kanye West-produced track just shows of Cudder’s excellence. The song has the futuristic sound of other Kanye songs. Kid Cudi rises to the challenge that this beat displayed. It is not a stretch to say that Cudi has proved that he will be a force within music, overall, based solely off of this song. It is a song with major crossover appeal, something that could be expected from a rock group, but it is coming from a rapper. (10/10)

9. Enter Galactic (Love Connection Part I) – The song has a smooth beat with an uptempo. As the song progresses, it sounds more like a techno song in the same vein as Kanye West’s “Paranoid.” The song is another great track and it fits in well with the sound of the album, the previous two tracks were building up for this climax. The chorus is not exactly memorable, but the song is great. (8/10)

10. Alive (Nightmare) featuring Ratatat – After the climax of “Enter Galactic,” the listener is placed into the valley that is “Alive.” The song is the perfect drop-off. The song has the mid-tempo and is easily a summer anthem for next year. Kid Cudi has a knack for creating great verses on songs with these types of beats. The Ratatat collaboration came at the perfect time to come together for the perfect song. (7/10)

11. Cudi Zone – For “Cudi Zone,” things switch up a bit, but for the most part the song sounds like “Day ‘n’ Nite.” The song would have made a great remix for his lead single, but, it remains another song on the album. It is not great, but it is not bad, either. The song deals with Kid Cudi’s need to escape, but it is really nothing more than another “Day ‘n’ Nite.” The song lacks originality, but it is a good listen. (3/10)

12. Make Her Say (featuring Kanye West and Common) – This is actually the second single off of the album. On this track, Kid Cudi brings in his GOOD Music cohorts, Kanye West and Common. They come together for the hottest hip hop collaboration of 2009. The song almost entirely makes up for the unoriginality of the previous track. It was the perfect choice for the next single and was a perfect fit for the album. (9/10)

13. Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare) featuring MGMT and Ratatat – The song has a rock feel to it, as much of this album does. Kid Cudi brings Ratatat back for this song, along with introducing MGMT. The song is the ultimate ode to hip hop’s favorite pastime. “Pursuit of Happiness” is another nightmare that Kid Cudi is having on the album and it continues the overall theme of the album. Another awesome melody in the background and Cudi almost seems like a seasoned veteran on this song. (8/10)

14. Hyyerr (featuring Chip tha Ripper) – The beat of the song actually sounds more like Jay-Z on The Blueprint. In spite of the feel, it is definitely Kid Cudi’s song and that is realized once Chip tha Ripper begins his verse. When it is handed over to Cudi, it is clear that this is his song. The song is another ode to getting high and the beat evidences this and the way that Chip and Kid Cudi handle the beat makes this obvious. (6/10)

15. Up, Up, & Away – Continuing the theme of being high, Kid Cudi has finally reached his destination. On a country beat, Cudi sings about his dreams and his imagination. The song proves his versatility and what he is bringing to a struggling hip hop game. It is definitely different than what is considered the norm in hip hop music. Kid Cudi has taken what should be a “white boy song” and he has made it hip hop, which is what the genre is all about. (7/10)

Kid Cudi’s debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, is definitely a creative album. This album has paved the way for what is looking like a long and successful career in hip hop. The album is like nothing before it and probably like everything to come after it.

Cudi is definitely one of the best new rappers in the game, he is putting his city of Cleveland on. The odd thing about Kid Cudi and his rapping is the fact that he sang throughout the album. It is definitely a great album, it is a little above the average because he pushed the creative envelope.

With this album, Kid Cudi has proved that “gangsta” rap is not the only way that the envelope can be pushed. He has worked hard to be different and it is safe to say that his album will not be protested like other albums have been. There are plenty of ways to stick out, Cudi has chosen his overall music instead of the content.

Man on the Moon: The End of Day is definitely one of the best hip hop albums to be released in the year of 2009. The album receives a 7 out of 10 from Hip Hop Vibe. It is something that deserves to be under the Christmas tree for the youngsters that follow hip hop. For the adults, it is also something to vibe to.

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