I am normally a pretty trendy kid. I usually try to follow the latest fads and hysteria; however, I have not been impressed by several of the latest pop culture crazes, particularly the Owl City, Jersey Shore and Kid Cudi movements. As only an occasional listener to rap music, I do appreciate the creativity of the lyrics as well as the production of the beats. Nevertheless, it’s a rare occasion when I find a rapper that I actually appreciate and enjoy. With this being said, I finally gave Kid Cudi a chance, and against all my prior judgment, I found Man on the Moon: The End of Day to be a pleasurable journey.
Surprisingly, Kid Cudi’s lyrics are very metaphorical, emotional and heartfelt. In Pursuit of Happiness, he reflects on the death of his father when he says, “I’m super paranoid, like a 6th sense. Since my father died, I ain’t been right since.” Cudi’s father died when he was 11 years old from cancer and it has deeply affected his personality and his music. The struggles of Cudi’s life have put him in extreme emotional positions, where he writes, “It’s close to go and trying some coke. And a happy ending would be slitting my throat.” Cudi is real and he is not ashamed of his upbringing (he’s originally from Cleveland), his addiction to drugs and his emotional instability. The hip-hop scene needs more artists who put down their guard and become real people with real life problems.
The theme of Man on the Moon: The End of the World is based on a call to society to be more creative. However, the creativity that Cudi is pushing happens to be heavily based on marijuana influence. The entire album centers on his addiction to marijuana and in the song Pursuit of Happiness, Cudi brags, “[I] crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit.” The main inspiration of his songs come from the dreams he has while stoned, Cudi said in a recent interview. Just when I thought I liked Kid Cudi, I lost an immense amount of respect for him. It turned out that he was, indeed, just like all the other rappers of today.
On a separate note, the actual music on Man on the Moon: The End of Day is very unique to a typical rapper of this generation. While the majority of rap beats today blend together, Cudi collaborates with electro-rock duo Ratatat to produce several of his beats (Alive and Pursuit of Happiness). Other noteworthy songs on the album include the single Day ‘n’ Nite, Heart of a Lion (Kid Cudi Theme Music) and Sky Might Fall, which is produced by label mate Kanye West.
Nevertheless, this album, like any other rap album, becomes repetitive and has its flaws. A large majority of the songs sound the same and Cudi’s voice – though unique – gets old halfway through the album. Man on the Moon: The End of the World is not something I’d be listening to over and over again. Although Cudi is new and fresh and unique, he still supports the basic principles of most rappers through the theme of marijuana influence. However, I will admit it. Kid Cudi is one of the better rap artists in the scene today.