Album Review: Man On The Moon III: The Chosen by Kid Cudi

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Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, or better known by his stage name, Kid Cudi is a rapper/singer and producer from Ohio. After getting inspiration from alternative hip hop groups, Kid Cudi found some inspiration and started making his own music. Eventually, he was able to create his debut, and one of his most notable projects, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. Now, several projects later, Kid Cudi releases the third in the series, Man On The Moon III: The Chosen.

The first track from the album is Beautiful Trip, which is just a quick introduction. The quick notes that were introduced at the beginning play homage to the first track of Man On The Moon: The End Of Day titled In My Dreams. Other than that, the track transitions into the first musical track on the album titled Tequila Shots. Since Cudi has opened up about his mental state in recent years, he talks about the war that has been inside of him, which could deal with anxiety and depression. As others have pointed out, there are some points where he could be making some references to the first album in the series.

Another Day opens up with some reverbed synth chords. Besides the spaced out beat, there seem to be a lot of Travis Scott influences sprinkled into this track, especially with some of the adlibs in there. As some have pointed out, this track is about Kid Cudi as his other self, Mr. Rager. However, by the end of the track it seems like he wants to make a change. That could also be a reference as to when he checked himself into rehab.

After the quick introduction of She Knows This, it opens up with a fun trap-fueled beat. You have the repeated high-notes as well as the trap drums. The track does morph into a more psychedelic tune by the end. Despite what some of the memes say about Kid Cudi, there are quite a few humming parts on this track, mostly during the chorus. Judging by the lyrics, especially during the first verse and during the chorus, he’s talking with some women that he potentially wants to get with.

Dive is the shortest musical track on the album, just under two and a half minutes in length. It opens up with an electronic guitar that seems to be distorted and reverbed, which gives it that ‘spacey’ and psychedelic vibe. I also like the small nod to Ratatat he gives at the beginning of the album, who he also collaborated with on his first album. This track continues to talk about Kid Cudi’s party and addiction to different types of substances.

Damaged opens up with some repeated arpeggios by a synth, as well as some soothing auto-tuned inaudible vocals. While I do enjoy Kid Cudi’s flow and rapping during this track, especially the second verse, he really kills it with his singing during the chorus. You can just hear the raw emotion that he put into the singing, even though all he said was, “This is how it goes when you’re a damaged man.” He then proceeds to drown his sadness with other damaging things.

Heaven On Earth is another trap inspired beat. The track opens up with some quiet bells that seem to be present in a lot of hip hop beats today. After that, you have your regular drum kits and an occasional synthesizer to give it that trippy aesthetic. On this track, Kid Cudi is stuck in his Mr. Rager mindset and he mentions how he is stuck in his old ways. He talks about how he just wants to live his life the way he wants to.

Besides Pop Smoke’s rapping, Show Out opens up with some heavy synthesizers that seem to carry the beat of the track. While I don’t normally care about Pop Smoke’s rapping, it actually fits really well on this track. I also enjoy Skepta’s feature on this track. I honestly never would have thought that the three of these rappers would collaborate since all three have their own style, but it fits in some weird sort of way. Also, Pop Smoke could be referencing the track he was on with JACKBOYS, Gatti.

Mr. Solo Dolo III seems to be Kid Cudi back to himself and not as Mr. Rager. This is where some of the more deep and R&B style starts to come in on the album. He starts to talk about how isolation during this time has been a struggle, especially since he has dealt with addiction in the past. Just hearing the different harmonies throughout the track can definitely put people in a certain mood when listening to his music.

Sad People opens up with some electronic string notes, as well as Kid Cudi’s iconic humming. For the most part, it’s a pretty down tempo track, but it sets the mood and aesthetic for what’s to come on the album later. Again, Kid Cudi is trying to tackle some of the issues with his mental health on this track and talks about how he tries to push the limits on this track. Despite his sadness, he will go to great lengths at times.

Elsie’s Baby Boy (flashback) is definitely a unique and strange track on this album. The introduction comes from the movie Stand by Me. Besides the introduction, you have a guitar repeating it’s ascending and descending arpeggio lines. The guitar melody also changes for the last part of the track. It’s definitely one that kind of sticks out since it doesn’t really connect with the other tracks. Kid Cudi talks about the time when he was growing up and how his mother did a lot for him and his family.

Sept. 16 is definitely my favorite track off the album, but will put you in a mood when you are least expecting it. While a lot of fans are trying to find the significance of the date, not that many people were able to find much about the date, but it definitely will hit you in the feels with the chords surrounding the track. On this track, Kid Cudi seems to talk about this girl that he’s in love with and how she’s basically a drug to him.

The Void is another amazing and beautiful track from the album. It’s also the longest track on the album, just about five and a half minutes in length. Just the long drawn out synth notes on this track continue to bring the ‘spacey’ feeling to the album. He talks about doing anything so that his mental health issues won’t take control of him. Also, the last section of the track seems to be thanking his fans for their support over the years.

I was actually really excited to give Lovin’ Me a listen since it brought on Phoebe Bridgers. Of course, Cudi brings in his beautiful humming at the beginning, and you are also greeted with the elongated synths. After some dark and deep tracks earlier, this track talks more about self love and being able to love yourself before moving on. Kid Cudi accepted the fact that if he wants to grow as a person, he has to love himself first.

The Pale Moonlight is another track that opens up with a guitar, but it definitely fits in more with the more electronic vibe it gives off. We also come back to more of Kid Cudi’s rapping instead of down tempo and sad tunes. We also have a reunion between him and Ratatat, who has collaborated with Kid Cudi on his first album. On this track, Kid Cudi admits that he is still dealing with some issues, even though he is healing through all of it.

Rockstar Knights brings back one of my least favorable features, Trippie Redd. I have yet to enjoy any of his tracks, so I’ll try to be as unbiased as possible. Other than that, you just have your usual trap-styled beat that fits Trippie Redd’s style well. This is definitely one of Kid Cudi’s more ‘show-off’ type track since they talk about living the rockstar life, but also talking about death since it seems like a lot of rappers have passed away recently.

4 Da Kidz tunes it back down with another smooth track. However, just with what we’ve heard before on this album, it just seems like a bit of a let down, and leaves me thinking if this is it for the rest of the album. The track does build up on some of it’s instrumentals, but just wanting something a bit more interesting right now. I just feel like Kid Cudi let out all of his energy towards the middle and end of the album so we’re left with this.

The last and final track from the album is Lord I Know. This track continues to be a mix of trap music as well as the trippy aesthetic that comes along with the trilogy. This tracks serves as an ending to the album and the Man On The Moon trilogy. However, the final thing said on the album is “ To Be Continued…” which leaves me thinking if there is going to be another album to the series, or if it’s just leading us up to Kid Cudi’s next album.

Overall Rating: 9/10

Favorite Tracks: Tequila Shots, She Knows This, Damaged, Show Out, Sept. 16, The Void, Lovin’ Me

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