- Russell Ksiez
Album Review: Man on the Moon III: The Chosen by Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi is one of the most influential and underrated artists in music. With two Grammys and many other awards and accolades under his belt, Cudi has changed the rap game for generations to come. With introducing a new style of rap, he has propelled himself as one of the most respected artists in the game. Cudi first introduced himself into the world by releasing his debut album Man On The Moon which peaked at number one on the Billboard’s r&b/hip hop chart. Cudi quickly became one of the brightest young students in the game by introducing his slow, melodic, and echo-like tones in which he calls “stoner music”. Just one year after his prolific debut album, he dropped Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager. He explains more of his story on how he came up in the game. After that, Kid Cudi has made a couple more albums. He even made some collab albums working with the likes of Kanye West & Travis Scott. Now, over a decade later Kid Cudi released the third and final album of the Man On The Moon trilogy. This shocked not only his most loyal fans but the music world in general. Man On The Moon III: The Chosen which released December 11th of 2020 shows a different side of Cudi that fans were not ready for. Cudi chose his final album to be broken into separate parts, all coming together as one beautiful album.
Act 1 of his album titled ‘Return 2 Madness’ discusses the problems he is being sucked back into. The album opens with a skit titled Beautiful Trip which shows Cudi being blasted back to the moon thus bringing him back to a state of paranoia. The second track and the first song of the album titled ‘Tequila Shots’ shows Cudi falling deeper and deeper into a dangerous state of mind to which has no point of return. He discusses the mistakes he has made yet barely remembers causing a war to go on in his head. Later in the song he discusses fighting with his demons but not being strong enough to overcome them. This leads to the third track titled ‘Another Day’ which shows Cudi trying to erase the bad thoughts of last night by partying with drugs and alcohol to avoid the pain he feels in his head. He also discusses how he desperately wants to change during the day but when the sun goes down his demons take over whether he wants them to or not. This brings us into the third track titled ‘She Knows This’. In this song, Kid Cudi explains how he tries to erase his past to revive a relationship he had with this ‘girl’. But the girl he is referring to is really the rap industry and how his relationship has been damaged due to the negativity of the music industry and the more he tries to hide his pain the more ‘she’ knows it. The final song of Act 1 titled ‘Dive’ is more of an uplifting song. Cudi discusses how even though he must face pressures from the industry and his fans, he chooses to still dive into this state of mind where he becomes numb and lets his ‘happy’ thoughts manifest as he prefers to live the life in his head than in reality.
The second Act to the album titled ‘The Rager, The Menace’ explains how even though “Mr. Rager” (which is himself) got him to the level of success he is at, it is still a darkening spirit that he has yet to conquer. The sixth track titled ‘Damaged’ which is my personal favorite discusses the damages he has faced in his life. But even though those battles left him permanent scars, he feels he needs to get rid of these demons as a solo job. But in the end of the song, he discovers that it is okay to ask for help and to always keep your close friends with you as they will always be there for you. The seventh track titled ‘Heaven or Earth’ discusses how he cannot handle all the fake people in his life. With there being so many around him praising his every move, his thoughts confuse him on whether he is in heaven or hell. His eighth track titled ‘Show Out’ features Skepta who is a popular London drill rapper and one of the most influential artists of 2020 in the late great Pop Smoke. This song entails Cudi always being there for his guys and them always being there for him. He knows that when he has his crew, they are ready for anything. This leads into the ninth track titled ‘Mr. Solo Dolo Pt. III’. This song is the third and final part to the Solo Dolo trilogy in his last two records. He often emphasizes how he needs no one and he is fine on his own. But really when he says that he is indicating a cry for help saying he really cannot defeat his thoughts on his own but because he pushes people away, he is forced to. This leads into the third act which introduces a softer side to Cudi in the record.
Act 3 titled “A Heart Of Rose Gold” introduces Cudi into his true emotions about life, flashbacks from his past and even the relationship with his daughter. The tenth track called ‘Sad People’ discusses Kid Cudi’s complex thoughts that he has late in the night eventually giving him anxiety and depression. This song reaches out to all his fans as they can relate to when they are sad. He tells them that it is okay to have these thoughts and it is okay to question life and your existence as it inevitably helps you grow. Which leads into the next track which is song number eleven on this album titled ‘Elsie’s Baby Boy (flashback)’. In this song Kid Cudi revisits his youth and talks about his mother (Elsie) and how hard she worked and that while he did not have the most glamorous childhood, she always did the best she could for him. This song speaks to anyone with a close relationship to their mother as he says that he is forever grateful for the little things she did, even if it did not have a price tag stamped on it. The twelfth track titled “Sept. 16” is the birthdate of his current girlfriend who actually gave him the inspiration to make and release this album. He explains how he is in a love spell with this woman and every time she is not with him, he gets sad and depressed and cannot stop thinking about her. But no matter what happens he explains he will always love her for everything she has given him and for literally pulling him out of the darkest spell in his life. This helps lead into the next song titled ‘The Void’ which is the thirteenth track of this album. In this track he discusses his constant battles with mental health and how he will do anything to avoid being in that dark place again. This slowed down track takes a deep dive into Cudi’s true thoughts and feelings about life and his loved ones. The fourteenth track titled ‘Lovin’ Me’ featuring melodic singer Phoebe Bridges tells how his past loves have struggled to understand him as a person and is afraid that his future loves may feel the same way. This track helps enter the album into its fourth and final act.
Act 4 titled “Powers” is the conclusion to his long awaited third album. This act is more of a revelation on what he has done with his career.