* Prices may differ from that shown
Man on the Moon is definitely one of the greatest hip-hop records made in the last five years. The fact that it's the first album by a rapper that seemingly came out nowhere is simply astounding to me. I think that Kid Cudi offers one of the most diverse styles in the game and he displays in no place better than this album.
Kid Cudi is one of those rappers that doesn't make a lot of noise because he remains under the radar. You have to be ready for what you will find. Kid Cudi offers a hip-hop experience like no other. For example, "Pursuit of Happiness", he collaborates with MGMT. Not many artists can say this. And how many people would have considered to be featured on a hip-hop song. Also, "Make Her Say" features Chicago legends, Common and Kanye West, over an acoustic Lady Gaga sample. Isn't that one of the craziest combos ever in the history of hip-hop? I certainly think so, and the fact that it comes from such a young rapper definitely astounds me. Kid Cudi is one of the artists that will soon be able to bridge the gap between rock and hip-hop, and allow them to all be fairly considered to be music.
If you're a fan of new music or are curious to see where hip-hop is going, you should definitely buy this album. It is one of those records that people give testimony as one of the best of its era.
After a huge amount of hype with backing from many of the big names in the Hip Hop game, the Cleveland-based Alternative Hip Hop MC KiD CuDi made his debut in 2009 with "Man On The Moon: The End Of Day". In it you see that you get him moving away from typical conventions of Hip Hop (in that he doesn't really rap and sings most of the time) and does a similar thing to what had been seen on Kanye West's fourth album ("808s & Heartbreak" from 2008, a release Cudi was a part of). You get narration from Common as he runs you through each individual act through Cudi's world.
1. "In My Dreams" (Intro)
2. "Soundtrack 2 My Life"
Coming off a pretty wack introductory piece where he sets everything up as a futuristic place, you find that as he moves into this one and Emile remains as the producer behind it, he actually does some proper rapping in this one (something that I hadn't actually heard in one of his tracks up to this point). Here he rhymes about his life and up-bringing and I felt that he did a decent job at it, but it still didn't get me excited for later on.
3. "Simple As..."
In what is a very short one you get lots of experimentation with lost of of-beat stuff coming from Plain Pat's ideas in the composition and from this you see that Cudi gets to the rhyming and comes in with a flow that seems to fit in with all the current trends, but is undermined by the way he chooses to do things at other times not only in this single track, but in pretty much every other tune that he does.
4. "Solo Dolo"
With this dark one you see that you have him moving things on into the sort of material that I expected to have on the release as we have him take it to a track that Kanye West has been said to have looked up to as one of the best on the release. It doesn't do it for me as you see that he gets a bit too deep when I'm not really bothered about what he has to say and so he simply put me off by having Emile offer such ominous production as he takes on an alternative persona.
5. "Heart Of A Lion"
Free School offer production that sounds much more conventional here and I felt that in spite of this it did very little to save things for him as you see that with this he simply twists things into his own ways where it is kept down by his tendency to sing and do so with haunting, electronic beats that mean nothing unless you can say that you are actually in the right mind state to take it on. He goes into his own world and loses me again with this one.
6. "My World"
On this one you get another joint that seems to have much more of the typical contemporary Hip Hop elements within it, but he twists them in a way so that it prevents some from really getting anything out of it. I can't say that I enjoyed it as a result as he keeps things on the same sort of level that had been seen on all the tracks leading up to this point and the only thing that makes it different is how he raps properly for much of it.
7. "Day 'n' Nite"
Not to be confused with the much more popular Crookers remix, this was the first track I'd heard from him and really I can't say I did like it until it was remixed. However with time my perception has changed as with the familiarity of the lyrics, now seeing it again as it should have been, I can see the vision within it as he comes out with a spacey tune, but one that is much lighter on the ear than the others that have been heard here.
8. "Sky Might Fall"
With production from Kanye West (who clearly isn't out of his "808s & Heartbreak" mode) you get a tune that I just couldn't get into due to its similarities to the sound that came from that experimental fourth Kanye West release. I didn't think that he brought anything new with this one; although others may see it a different way and I just thought that it was another wasted track that loses the momentum the last one created.
9. "Enter Galactic"
You see that in this one you get a massive change to things as he lifts the pace massively with this lively tune. It is one that I can't say that I was really all that happy with and one that I can't see many US listeners having fun with either as it has such a heavy Euro-House feel to it (as many Americans dismissed "Day 'n' Nite"'s remix as) and so I don't see any strengths in this track whatsoever as he attempts some spacey club work.
As things move into another act, you see that hear we get a grungy Hip Hop set coming through as DC's Ratatat get involved into the thing and assist the artist as he moves on into more material that I would consider to be samey and doesn't really move on from where other tunes on the release were. It does very little and although I could feel the synth riff that led it, nothing else was happening for me.
11. "Cudi Zone"
Emile gets back on the beats with this one and you see that with the eighties-inspired synth work, it appears to motivate Cudi to do some straight-forward rapping and shows how well his skills at this end of it all have come along in the couple of years leading up to the release of his debut. Although he does what I want in the verses, with such unimpressive production, it prevents me from actually getting into it.
12. "Make Her Say"
You get a massive lift with this one, a track that I didn't expect to see on the album as you see that you get the track that originally went by the name of "I Poke Her Face" as it samples Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" and has Kanye bringing some conventional Hip Hop beats as well as rapping with him and Common. It is a killer, although it doesn't seem to fit in here at all. The guests simply kill it off.
13. "Pursuit Of Happiness"
Coming off such a killer tune, you see that he moves on into one of the other singles form the album and it is one of the tunes that I really had no love for at all as he gets into his full-on alternative ways to the point where I can't see where I can possible get anything out of it. The intensions of the track are obvious, but I don't think he had to do it all in such a way where it escapes what all others are doing (and can understand).
You see that in this one you get a bit more general Hip Hop work as here he does a track that sounds quite regular for a Mid-West joint and I expect that much of the influence to do such a tune is in order to make his guest, Chip Tha Ripper (another out of his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio) and together they make for a pretty fly, laid-back tune that recovers from the generally wackness on this release.
15. "Up Up & Away"
He brings the album to a close with a track that sounds quite typical of his kind of work. You find that in it he goes by his regular ways, but changes it just slightly with a much lighter set made to be up-tempo so that he gives things a bit of life as the record ends. It does very little to help things out and for me kept it at the level I had expected and seems to represent what had come in the album reasonably well.
I expect this to be a simple sequel to what Kanye had brought on "808s & Heartbreak", and apart from the odd time when the producer means that we escape the dullness of the release, this is all it basically is (without the auto-tuning and more of the rapping). This kind of Alternative Hip Hop doesn't appeal to me, and those who only know him for the Crookers remix to "Day 'n' Nite" shouldn't see that as a representation of his work by any means.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 In My Dreams (Cudder Anthem)
2 Soundtrack 2 My Life
3 Simple As...
4 Solo Dolo (nightmare)
5 Heart Of A Lion (Kid Cudi Theme Music)
6 My World - Kid Cudi, Billy Craven
7 Day 'N' Nite
8 Sky Might Fall
9 Enter Galactic (Love Connection Part I)
10 Alive (nightmare) - Kid Cudi, Ratatat
11 Cudi Zone
12 Make Her Say - Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Common
13 Pursuit Of Happiness (nightmare) - Kid Cudi, MGMT, Ratatat
14 Hyyerr - Kid Cudi, Chip Tha Ripper
15 Up Up & Away
16 Day 'N' Nite