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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 11, 2020 | Republic Records

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With Man On The Moon III: The Chosen One, Kid Cudi finally delivers the long overdue finale of his cosmic album series which started way back in 2009. For this release, Kid Cudi reunites with the old crew, including: Dot Da Genius, Mike Dean, Plain Pat, Evan Mat, and features new collaborators like, Phoebe Bridgers on "Lovin' Me" and Pop Smoke and Skepta on "Show Out," providing fans with a more transformative experience. The album is split into four sections, each attempting to capture Cudi's journey of self-discovery and battle against inner demons. Cudi is known to be raw and unfiltered about his struggles with depression and loneliness; his personal yet vague lyrics are able to resonate with so many fans. Tying these visions back to the album's cover art, the distinct division between the left and right sides of his face speaks to a state of mind of his internal dilemmas. While a "good rap" involves several qualities—lyrics, wordplay, cadence, and flow—that serve to create an intimate resonance between fans, Kid Cudi holds his own speciality in mushed humming (there are countless memes and videos dedicated to it) and melodic talking over solid beats produced by his crew. The humming is also forefront on the single "Tequila Shot." Instead of his usual "self development" lyrical backstory, "Tequila Shot" portrays the accumulated inner turbulence that he's failed to fight off. Kid Cudi revealed that this was one of the first tracks created for this album; it's a perfect transition into the trilogy's final chapter. © Abbie Wang/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 16, 2016 | Wicked Awesome - Kid Cudi

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Following the noble misstep of 2015's grunge-rap Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven, Kid Cudi returns to introspective hip-hop weirdness on his sixth outing, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'. The sprawling effort finds Scott Mescudi in a new, healing state, fresh from a self-imposed hospitalization for depression and suicidal urges. Sonically, it recalls his early Man on the Moon period (production by Mike Dean and Plain Pat keep things consistent), but emotionally, it offers deeper therapy and catharsis. Running at one and a half hours, Passion is long and occasionally drags. Although split into four digestible "Acts," it tests the limits of the casual listener's patience. Fans should be pleased, however, by the wealth of new material. "Tuned," the album's first act, is one of the better portions, blending '90s trip-hop with a concoction of Kanye's 808s and Trent Reznor's Ghosts soundscapes. From the mournful atmospherics of "Releaser" and the languid "Frequency" to the catchy André 3000/Pharrell Williams island-tinged collaboration "By Design" and Mike WiLL Made It's popping "All In," "Tuned" sets the course for another intergalactic therapy session. Aptly titled "Therapy," the second act contains some of the best insights into Cudi's state of mind. On "ILLusions," he bids farewell "to the demons in my head," declaring "no more misery...free, free." On "Baptized in Fire," Travis Scott pleads with his "big bro" in a sweet moment of vulnerability, asking the Man on the Moon to phone home because he's needed. Yet, despite appearances by Willow Smith (on the beautiful dark twisted dirge "Rose Golden") and another from Pharrell ("Flight at First Sight/Advanced"), this act is where Passion's energy starts to lag. Third act "Niveaux de l'Amour" ("Levels of Love") is the only segment devoid of guests, kicking off with a one-two punch of hyper-horny sex jams. The throbbing "Dance 4 Eternity" is the mood-building foreplay to the blush-worthy "Distant Fantasies," in which Cudi promises, among other things, to "pound it 'til it's numb." However, as the track draws out, the only things getting numb are the listener's tolerance and attention span. Still, the latter half of the act manages to be one of the album's best stretches, from the cathartic "Wounds" -- where Cudi proclaims "I'mma sew these wounds myself" -- to the lovely "Mature Nature" and sweeping "Kitchen." Finishing on "It's Bright and Heaven Is Warm" -- a spin on DMX's It's Dark and Hell Is Hot -- Cudi soars like an eagle on "Cosmic Warrior" and reclaims his sense of self on the uplifting "Heart of a Lion" callback "The Commander," on which he reaffirms that he's "so in control." On closer "Surfin'," Pharrell takes the reins once again, sending Kid Cudi off on a horn-filled tribal wave. While the album could have been split into two thematically concise releases (or a single focused edit), Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' breathes gravitas into the Kid Cudi discography, realigning his trajectory and hinting at hope, possibility, and, most importantly, recovery. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 8, 2010 | Kid Cudi - Universal Records

Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon II was released in a year where rap album sequels were common, but unlike most of the competition, this sequel has a very strong link to its predecessor. It’s actually the outcome of the alt-rap star’s breakthrough debut as it deals with fame, and Cudi’s admittedly unwise way of handling it, liquid cocaine. As a result, you have to care quite a bit about this Mr. Solo Dolo character for Man on the Moon II to fully work its magic. Cudi’s opening line “You are now in the world that I’m ruining” is a spot-on warning as the album slowly spirals down into sourness and regret, but just like on his debut, the soundscape is spacy and far-reaching, making this interstellar therapy session a much more interesting transmission. At its best, it’s fascinating, like when rapper Cage and indie singer St. Vincent whirl in a paranoid black hole dubbed “Maniac,” while Cudi issues more warnings with “I love the darkness, yea, I’d like to marry it”. “Don’t Play This Song,” with Mary J. Blige, puts it even more bluntly with “Wanna know what it sounds like when I’m not on drugs?/Please, please don’t play this song” while the great “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young” tells snooping blogs they shouldn’t bother, he’ll tell his own story. Elsewhere, he seems admirably open to the idea of disgrace, but those who grow tired of the star’s indulgences will have to wait around for the out of place yet welcome numbers, like the Kanye West and rock guitar feature “Erase Me” or the dream pop influenced “Marijuana” which runs 4:20 for a reason. In the end, the lonely stoner of his debut seemed to have a wider appeal, but the contradictory, troubled artist presented here will give the Cudi faithful much more to ponder. Everything else is equal, so skeptically ease yourself in or take the full dive accordingly. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2009 | Kid Cudi - Universal Records

Kid Cudi is a fascinating rapper, claimed by the backpackers for his work with Kanye West on 808s & Heartbreak but equally loved by the mash-up club kids who went ape for his "Day N Nite" single, especially in its nu-disco remix from Crookers. His debut album was deep in the category of "much anticipated" as soon as it was announced, but when the promised game changer finally arrived, it became obvious that Cudi had already changed the game, and maybe debut albums aren't what they used to be. With its narration from Common and a track list broken into five "acts," Man on the Moon: The End of Day is almost as conceptual as its name implies, kicking off with a spaced-out slow roller coated in strings while Cudi states "Welcome, you're in my dream now." You most certainly are. What follows is Pink Floyd-styled story where the real world pain of "Soundtrack 2 My Life" mutates into sci-fi fantasies from the dark side of the moon. Along the way, brilliant samples -- like a bit of OMD's esoteric album Dazzle Ships -- and innovative sounds from Cudi and special guests Emile, Ratatat, and MGMT slowly shuffle the listener through the man's spliff-fueled exploration of space, a place where the artsy escape ridicule but fall prey to crushing isolation. With its bleeps, the hooky "Day N Nite" belongs, but the follow-up single, "Make Her Say," is a glorious mix of glitz and vulgarity with Kanye and Cudi twisting a Lady GaGa sample from "Poker Face" into "Poke Her Face." While it lightens the mood just before things turn ponderous, it barely fits. If it wasn't for the song, it would be as if Cudi launched his career with his own 808s, and therefore anyone looking for a more gripping kickoff should seek out either of his widely available mixtapes (A Kid Named Cudi or Dat Kid from Cleveland). This first official release is a soul searcher and may require more patience than your everyday debut. Still, the chilly, complicated Man on the Moon perfects the futuristic bleak-beat hip-hop Kanye purposed a year earlier, and rewards the listener with every tripped-out return. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2009 | Kid Cudi - Universal Records

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Dance - Released January 1, 2012 | Kid Cudi - Universal Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2013 | Kid Cudi - Universal Records

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After an amicable split with Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label, Kid Cudi's third official album landed on Island proper, but it comes off as a label sampler itself, perhaps for the mythical Indicud Records (and that's the marijuana type Indica mixed with the name Cudi) or Kid Enterprises where the Cleveland rapper executive produces it all. Prime example has to be late album highlight "Beez," where Wu-Tang leader RZA brings his own Killer Bees mythos and delivers what could be his anthem ("I don't write songs, Grasshopper/I write sceneries") while Cudi handles the production and delivers the simple hook. In "Girls," it's merely a matter of framing veteran pimp Too Short in Cudi's bud smoker's vision of alt-rap, while "Solo Dolo, Pt. 2" takes the Kid's theme song and allows Kendrick Lamar to run with it, all the way to the Left Coast. Elsewhere, there's the delicious idea of surrounding AOR singer Michael Bolton with cloud rap and EDM beats for the epic "Afterwards (Bring Yo Friends)," or making indie rockers Haim sound something more like the Weeknd on stoner-R&B cut "Red Eye," and then there's the small instrumental/lark called "New York City Rage Fest," which is nothing more than middle-album tomfoolery. All those guest shots are worthy bangers, but Indicud still has some truly Solo Dolo numbers that shine, with "Immortal" turning a MGMT tune played backwards into Cudi's best anthem to date, while "Unfuckwittable" is the off-kilter, brain-melting mutant brand of pop-rap that made the Man on the Moon albums such a thrill. Cudi's said that Indicud is his 2001, in reference to the Dr. Dre album, but Dre was always considered a producer first, and this rapper's shift to producer/rapper is much more sudden and drastic. Still, it's an entertaining, vibrant, and artistically filling album, so consider it a "presents" effort and enjoy the show. © David Jeffries /TiVo

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 10, 2020 | Republic Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 11, 2020 | Republic Records

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With Man On The Moon III: The Chosen One, Kid Cudi finally delivers the long overdue finale of his cosmic album series which started way back in 2009. For this release, Kid Cudi reunites with the old crew, including: Dot Da Genius, Mike Dean, Plain Pat, Evan Mat, and features new collaborators like, Phoebe Bridgers on "Lovin' Me" and Pop Smoke and Skepta on "Show Out," providing fans with a more transformative experience. The album is split into four sections, each attempting to capture Cudi's journey of self-discovery and battle against inner demons. Cudi is known to be raw and unfiltered about his struggles with depression and loneliness; his personal yet vague lyrics are able to resonate with so many fans. Tying these visions back to the album's cover art, the distinct division between the left and right sides of his face speaks to a state of mind of his internal dilemmas. While a "good rap" involves several qualities—lyrics, wordplay, cadence, and flow—that serve to create an intimate resonance between fans, Kid Cudi holds his own speciality in mushed humming (there are countless memes and videos dedicated to it) and melodic talking over solid beats produced from his crew. The humming is also forefront on the single "Tequila Shot." Instead of his usual "self development" lyrical backstory, "Tequila Shot" portrays the accumulated inner turbulence that he's failed to fight off. Kid Cudi revealed that this was one of the first tracks created for this album; it's a perfect transition into trilogy's final chapter. © Abbie Wang/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2009 | Kid Cudi - Universal Records

Kid Cudi is a fascinating rapper, claimed by the backpackers for his work with Kanye West on 808s & Heartbreak but equally loved by the mash-up club kids who went ape for his "Day N Nite" single, especially in its nu-disco remix from Crookers. His debut album was deep in the category of "much anticipated" as soon as it was announced, but when the promised game changer finally arrived, it became obvious that Cudi had already changed the game, and maybe debut albums aren't what they used to be. With its narration from Common and a track list broken into five "acts," Man on the Moon: The End of Day is almost as conceptual as its name implies, kicking off with a spaced-out slow roller coated in strings while Cudi states "Welcome, you're in my dream now." You most certainly are. What follows is Pink Floyd-styled story where the real world pain of "Soundtrack 2 My Life" mutates into sci-fi fantasies from the dark side of the moon. Along the way, brilliant samples -- like a bit of OMD's esoteric album Dazzle Ships -- and innovative sounds from Cudi and special guests Emile, Ratatat, and MGMT slowly shuffle the listener through the man's spliff-fueled exploration of space, a place where the artsy escape ridicule but fall prey to crushing isolation. With its bleeps, the hooky "Day N Nite" belongs, but the follow-up single, "Make Her Say," is a glorious mix of glitz and vulgarity with Kanye and Cudi twisting a Lady GaGa sample from "Poker Face" into "Poke Her Face." While it lightens the mood just before things turn ponderous, it barely fits. If it wasn't for the song, it would be as if Cudi launched his career with his own 808s, and therefore anyone looking for a more gripping kickoff should seek out either of his widely available mixtapes (A Kid Named Cudi or Dat Kid from Cleveland). This first official release is a soul searcher and may require more patience than your everyday debut. Still, the chilly, complicated Man on the Moon perfects the futuristic bleak-beat hip-hop Kanye purposed a year earlier, and rewards the listener with every tripped-out return. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 4, 2015 | Wicked Awesome - Kid Cudi

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Sounding like his 2012 rap-rock album/project WZRD but without the polish, Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven finds Cleveland rapper Kid Cudi becoming Cleveland rocker Kid Cudi via the garage. Production is minimal, everything sounds raw, and the songwriting could be stream-of-consciousness since the lyrics are generally simple or just strange. For outsiders, "Confused!" is the track to pick, as it sticks in the head with the "Who am I? Who are we?/All I want is to feel complete" chorus, and then resonates with "I hate the drugs but I love the numb." "Fairy Tale Remains" sounds as if Death Grips aimed to make a My Bloody Valentine album and the chops just weren't there, but much of Speedin' Bullet would benefit from a better band, another run through the writing, or outside ideas. Longtime fans who love getting stuck in this artist's head might enjoy all the freedom and questions, while outsiders could argue it's just sloppy and confused. He's a maverick, no doubt, but he's also just earned himself his own wing in the Hall of Albums Best Left to Hardcore Fans. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 11, 2020 | Wicked Awesome - Kid Cudi

With Man On The Moon III: The Chosen One, Kid Cudi finally delivers the long overdue finale of his cosmic album series which started way back in 2009. For this release, Kid Cudi reunites with the old crew, including: Dot Da Genius, Mike Dean, Plain Pat, Evan Mat, and features new collaborators like, Phoebe Bridgers on "Lovin' Me" and Pop Smoke and Skepta on "Show Out," providing fans with a more transformative experience. The album is split into four sections, each attempting to capture Cudi's journey of self-discovery and battle against inner demons. Cudi is known to be raw and unfiltered about his struggles with depression and loneliness; his personal yet vague lyrics are able to resonate with so many fans. Tying these visions back to the album's cover art, the distinct division between the left and right sides of his face speaks to a state of mind of his internal dilemmas. While a "good rap" involves several qualities—lyrics, wordplay, cadence, and flow—that serve to create an intimate resonance between fans, Kid Cudi holds his own speciality in mushed humming (there are countless memes and videos dedicated to it) and melodic talking over solid beats produced from his crew. The humming is also forefront on the single "Tequila Shot." Instead of his usual "self development" lyrical backstory, "Tequila Shot" portrays the accumulated inner turbulence that he's failed to fight off. Kid Cudi revealed that this was one of the first tracks created for this album; it's a perfect transition into trilogy's final chapter. © Abbie Wang/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 16, 2016 | Wicked Awesome - Kid Cudi

Following the noble misstep of 2015's grunge-rap Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven, Kid Cudi returns to introspective hip-hop weirdness on his sixth outing, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'. The sprawling effort finds Scott Mescudi in a new, healing state, fresh from a self-imposed hospitalization for depression and suicidal urges. Sonically, it recalls his early Man on the Moon period (production by Mike Dean and Plain Pat keep things consistent), but emotionally, it offers deeper therapy and catharsis. Running at one and a half hours, Passion is long and occasionally drags. Although split into four digestible "Acts," it tests the limits of the casual listener's patience. Fans should be pleased, however, by the wealth of new material. "Tuned," the album's first act, is one of the better portions, blending '90s trip-hop with a concoction of Kanye's 808s and Trent Reznor's Ghosts soundscapes. From the mournful atmospherics of "Releaser" and the languid "Frequency" to the catchy André 3000/Pharrell Williams island-tinged collaboration "By Design" and Mike WiLL Made It's popping "All In," "Tuned" sets the course for another intergalactic therapy session. Aptly titled "Therapy," the second act contains some of the best insights into Cudi's state of mind. On "ILLusions," he bids farewell "to the demons in my head," declaring "no more misery...free, free." On "Baptized in Fire," Travis Scott pleads with his "big bro" in a sweet moment of vulnerability, asking the Man on the Moon to phone home because he's needed. Yet, despite appearances by Willow Smith (on the beautiful dark twisted dirge "Rose Golden") and another from Pharrell ("Flight at First Sight/Advanced"), this act is where Passion's energy starts to lag. Third act "Niveaux de l'Amour" ("Levels of Love") is the only segment devoid of guests, kicking off with a one-two punch of hyper-horny sex jams. The throbbing "Dance 4 Eternity" is the mood-building foreplay to the blush-worthy "Distant Fantasies," in which Cudi promises, among other things, to "pound it 'til it's numb." However, as the track draws out, the only things getting numb are the listener's tolerance and attention span. Still, the latter half of the act manages to be one of the album's best stretches, from the cathartic "Wounds" -- where Cudi proclaims "I'mma sew these wounds myself" -- to the lovely "Mature Nature" and sweeping "Kitchen." Finishing on "It's Bright and Heaven Is Warm" -- a spin on DMX's It's Dark and Hell Is Hot -- Cudi soars like an eagle on "Cosmic Warrior" and reclaims his sense of self on the uplifting "Heart of a Lion" callback "The Commander," on which he reaffirms that he's "so in control." On closer "Surfin'," Pharrell takes the reins once again, sending Kid Cudi off on a horn-filled tribal wave. While the album could have been split into two thematically concise releases (or a single focused edit), Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' breathes gravitas into the Kid Cudi discography, realigning his trajectory and hinting at hope, possibility, and, most importantly, recovery. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 8, 2010 | Kid Cudi - Universal Records

Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon II was released in a year where rap album sequels were common, but unlike most of the competition, this sequel has a very strong link to its predecessor. It’s actually the outcome of the alt-rap star’s breakthrough debut as it deals with fame, and Cudi’s admittedly unwise way of handling it, liquid cocaine. As a result, you have to care quite a bit about this Mr. Solo Dolo character for Man on the Moon II to fully work its magic. Cudi’s opening line “You are now in the world that I’m ruining” is a spot-on warning as the album slowly spirals down into sourness and regret, but just like on his debut, the soundscape is spacy and far-reaching, making this interstellar therapy session a much more interesting transmission. At its best, it’s fascinating, like when rapper Cage and indie singer St. Vincent whirl in a paranoid black hole dubbed “Maniac,” while Cudi issues more warnings with “I love the darkness, yea, I’d like to marry it”. “Don’t Play This Song,” with Mary J. Blige, puts it even more bluntly with “Wanna know what it sounds like when I’m not on drugs?/Please, please don’t play this song” while the great “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young” tells snooping blogs they shouldn’t bother, he’ll tell his own story. Elsewhere, he seems admirably open to the idea of disgrace, but those who grow tired of the star’s indulgences will have to wait around for the out of place yet welcome numbers, like the Kanye West and rock guitar feature “Erase Me” or the dream pop influenced “Marijuana” which runs 4:20 for a reason. In the end, the lonely stoner of his debut seemed to have a wider appeal, but the contradictory, troubled artist presented here will give the Cudi faithful much more to ponder. Everything else is equal, so skeptically ease yourself in or take the full dive accordingly. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released March 3, 2014 | Kid Cudi - Universal Records

Digitally issued only hours after its existence was announced, Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon is rapper Kid Cudi's fourth studio album, an abstract and ambitious effort that opens with the aptly titled, mostly instrumental, Tangerine Dream-like "Destination: Mother Moon." Then, the man who was "Mr. Solo Dolo" becomes a dour Bono on the arena-rocking, addiction-minded "Going to the Ceremony," followed by a journey into micro-indie-electro (the twerking, Kool Keith-ish "Satellite Flight") then a return to obsidian-dark, mostly instrumental space music ("Copernicus Landing"). The intoxicating chillout track "Balmain Jeans" might be the only Raphael Saadiq number worthy of a goth playlist, and while this list of spoilers finishes with two dips into left-field rap, one more space number, one "Original Score"-sized piece, and a closing moaner that sounds like Cudi became hip-hop's Jandek, Satellite Flight is the Cudi album that requires a cheat sheet, since stoner versions of Yeezus come with that one-two punch of avant and meandering. Still, it's not an unapproachable release as the Kid's music is rich, while his lyrics concerning doubt, distrust, and personal freedom come with that universal angst-appeal. Newcomers are likely to be dazzled by it all, while hardcore fans will appreciate how this unique artist keeps experimenting and approaching the unclassifiable, but stuck in the middle are the casual fans, wondering where all these albums deconstructing "Space Oddity" are going. Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing Kid Cudi can do on Satellite Flight, so think lift-off and orbit with no touchdown because this one is lost in space, for better and for worse. © David Jeffries /TiVo

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 10, 2020 | Republic Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 16, 2016 | Wicked Awesome - Kid Cudi

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Following the noble misstep of 2015's grunge-rap Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven, Kid Cudi returns to introspective hip-hop weirdness on his sixth outing, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'. The sprawling effort finds Scott Mescudi in a new, healing state, fresh from a self-imposed hospitalization for depression and suicidal urges. Sonically, it recalls his early Man on the Moon period (production by Mike Dean and Plain Pat keep things consistent), but emotionally, it offers deeper therapy and catharsis. Running at one and a half hours, Passion is long and occasionally drags. Although split into four digestible "Acts," it tests the limits of the casual listener's patience. Fans should be pleased, however, by the wealth of new material. "Tuned," the album's first act, is one of the better portions, blending '90s trip-hop with a concoction of Kanye's 808s and Trent Reznor's Ghosts soundscapes. From the mournful atmospherics of "Releaser" and the languid "Frequency" to the catchy André 3000/Pharrell Williams island-tinged collaboration "By Design" and Mike WiLL Made It's popping "All In," "Tuned" sets the course for another intergalactic therapy session. Aptly titled "Therapy," the second act contains some of the best insights into Cudi's state of mind. On "ILLusions," he bids farewell "to the demons in my head," declaring "no more misery...free, free." On "Baptized in Fire," Travis Scott pleads with his "big bro" in a sweet moment of vulnerability, asking the Man on the Moon to phone home because he's needed. Yet, despite appearances by Willow Smith (on the beautiful dark twisted dirge "Rose Golden") and another from Pharrell ("Flight at First Sight/Advanced"), this act is where Passion's energy starts to lag. Third act "Niveaux de l'Amour" ("Levels of Love") is the only segment devoid of guests, kicking off with a one-two punch of hyper-horny sex jams. The throbbing "Dance 4 Eternity" is the mood-building foreplay to the blush-worthy "Distant Fantasies," in which Cudi promises, among other things, to "pound it 'til it's numb." However, as the track draws out, the only things getting numb are the listener's tolerance and attention span. Still, the latter half of the act manages to be one of the album's best stretches, from the cathartic "Wounds" -- where Cudi proclaims "I'mma sew these wounds myself" -- to the lovely "Mature Nature" and sweeping "Kitchen." Finishing on "It's Bright and Heaven Is Warm" -- a spin on DMX's It's Dark and Hell Is Hot -- Cudi soars like an eagle on "Cosmic Warrior" and reclaims his sense of self on the uplifting "Heart of a Lion" callback "The Commander," on which he reaffirms that he's "so in control." On closer "Surfin'," Pharrell takes the reins once again, sending Kid Cudi off on a horn-filled tribal wave. While the album could have been split into two thematically concise releases (or a single focused edit), Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' breathes gravitas into the Kid Cudi discography, realigning his trajectory and hinting at hope, possibility, and, most importantly, recovery. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
From
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2009 | Kid Cudi - Universal Records

Kid Cudi is a fascinating rapper, claimed by the backpackers for his work with Kanye West on 808s & Heartbreak but equally loved by the mash-up club kids who went ape for his "Day N Nite" single, especially in its nu-disco remix from Crookers. His debut album was deep in the category of "much anticipated" as soon as it was announced, but when the promised game changer finally arrived, it became obvious that Cudi had already changed the game, and maybe debut albums aren't what they used to be. With its narration from Common and a track list broken into five "acts," Man on the Moon: The End of Day is almost as conceptual as its name implies, kicking off with a spaced-out slow roller coated in strings while Cudi states "Welcome, you're in my dream now." You most certainly are. What follows is Pink Floyd-styled story where the real world pain of "Soundtrack 2 My Life" mutates into sci-fi fantasies from the dark side of the moon. Along the way, brilliant samples -- like a bit of OMD's esoteric album Dazzle Ships -- and innovative sounds from Cudi and special guests Emile, Ratatat, and MGMT slowly shuffle the listener through the man's spliff-fueled exploration of space, a place where the artsy escape ridicule but fall prey to crushing isolation. With its bleeps, the hooky "Day N Nite" belongs, but the follow-up single, "Make Her Say," is a glorious mix of glitz and vulgarity with Kanye and Cudi twisting a Lady GaGa sample from "Poker Face" into "Poke Her Face." While it lightens the mood just before things turn ponderous, it barely fits. If it wasn't for the song, it would be as if Cudi launched his career with his own 808s, and therefore anyone looking for a more gripping kickoff should seek out either of his widely available mixtapes (A Kid Named Cudi or Dat Kid from Cleveland). This first official release is a soul searcher and may require more patience than your everyday debut. Still, the chilly, complicated Man on the Moon perfects the futuristic bleak-beat hip-hop Kanye purposed a year earlier, and rewards the listener with every tripped-out return. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2009 | Kid Cudi - Universal Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released April 14, 2020 | Republic Records

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