Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager Review
Posted by Aaron Titan on 11.09.2010
Kid Cudi is back with his second album, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. How does it stack up to the first Man on the Moon? 411's Aaron Titan checks in with his full review!
01. “Scott Mescudi vs. the World” f/ Cee-Lo
03. “Don’t Play This Song” f/ Mary J. Blige
04. “We Aite (Wake Your Mind Up)”
06. “Mojo So Dope”
07. “Ashin’ Kusher”
08. “Erase Me” f/ Kanye West
09. “Wylin’ Cuz I’m Young”
10. “The Mood”
11. “MANIAC” f/ Cage & St. Vincent
12. “Mr. Rager”
13. “These Worries” f/ Mary J. Blige
14. “The End” f/ GLC, Chip that Ripper, & Nicole Wray
15. “All Along”
17. “Trapped in My Mind”
”Erase Me” f/ Kanye West
Kid Cudi performs “REVOFEV” live for VEVO’s Go Shows
After a lot of highly publicized legal run-ins over his past year of garnering fame and popularity, Kid Cudi returns about 14 months after his major label debut with Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager.
Gone are Common’s voiceover story arc interludes. This one is just straight personal, even more so than Part I, and that’s saying something. I felt that his debut was such an introspective, vulnerable piece of work and I fell in love with it. That album defined my fall of 2009.
This one…well, let’s just say I’m glad I already had the Black Keys’ Brothers to define my whole 2010, because this one’s a little harder to connect to.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a very worthwhile album overall. It starts out quickly with the spacey “Scott Mescudi vs. The World” featuring Gnarls Barkley’s Cee-Lo on the chorus. One of the more energetic songs featured on the album, this was an odd choice to open the disc. Like, it’s peppier than other numbers, but it doesn’t really get the album going like you would want your opening number to. It does set the mood for the general thematic content of the album though. More on that shortly…
Then you’ve got the single Cudi put out this summer, “REVOFEV,” the reggae, pounding piano jaunt that really grows on you the more times you listen to it. The whoa-oo-ohh’s are going to be insanely fun to sing along with when Cudi takes this album out on the road, hopefully with Kanye West, next year.
Then the pity party kind of sets in. The major message I got from this album is that it’s incredibly hard to be Scott Mescudi and living with the weight of his mind is unbearable.
The listening experience isn't underbearable necessarily. “Don’t Play This Song” reckons the sound of Cudi’s debut while “Marijuana” is a teary, ethereal ode to a drug Cudi sought a lot of solace through in the past.
But basically, the whole middle section of this album just kind of chugs along with themes of drug use and the comfort of swagger and fame (“Mojo So Dope”), mental anguish and seeking peace of mind (“The Mood”), and the search for understanding and love (“Erase Me”).
“Erase Me” is definitely the funnest song on the album. It’s a borderline rock song and the video, which features Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin) on drums, is just brilliant. I’m glad this song is on the album, because it reminds us that Kid Cudi isn’t just a forlorn miser who got lost on fame and forgot what it was like to be happy and somewhat grateful for achieving some success.
There’s some choice cuts towards the back end of the album, such as the woeful “Mr. Rager,” seemingly Cudi’s evil alter ego that brought him to his world of loneliness on the moon. This song actually sounds like it was recorded in a discothèque on the moon and really achieves some of the ambiance the first album painted so vividly and this one falls short on.
The 411: But really, while there’s emotion and substance to this disc – as I wouldn’t expect anything superficial from Cudi – I’m not sure he took enough time to process the last year of his life. He only put out his first album a little over a year ago, and this album feels incredibly unfocused and lost at sea compared to The End of Day. I’m not sure Cudi knows where all of his problems and drug use took him and where he’s going now, and it really shows in the self-loathing that pervades this disc and makes for a chill, but not-so-fun listening experience. Maybe this will end up being Cudi’s Pinkerton down the line, but I’m really just not that impressed. It’s good and all, but not nearly as great and I don’t feel it will live up to the high expectations Cudi fans will have for it.