Kid Cudi / Man On The Moon II: The Legend.. / Universal
Whenever an old reformed music star talks about hitting rock bottom, it seems like their addiction stories are always just variations on the law of diminishing returns; problems that used to go away after a couple of drinks or pills start hanging around for a few more rounds each night – add in the pressures of rising fame and the classic bulging ego-inspired denial and you’ve got a pretty volatile cocktail. Kid Cudi’s debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, represented the first act to one of those ‘fall’ stories. Judging by the mood of Cudi’s follow-up, that was just the start of his descent.
On much of Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, its protagonist is depicted wallowing in his addiction – not willing to give up chasing old habits, but not beyond recognizing where he truly is. It’s as if he followed up his Dark Side Of The Moon with his rendition of The Wall, complete with a song about feeling trapped inside his own head (“Trapped In My Mind”). Impressive as Cudi’s “addiction and fame” narrative is, he succeeds with more than just the very gloomy, putting together a pop-rock crossover song in “Erase Me” that is far superior to anything Lil Wayne achieved on his rock n’ roll attempt, Rebirth. Don’t be surprised though if the talented musician’s next effort is even more dark and conflicted than the last. After all, relapses can and do happen.
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